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Aspirations to Never Give Up –DeWese

March 2012
It’s happened to all of us. While sitting around having a drink with a few people, I start telling a story. The group is laughing their asses off and one of ’em says to me, “You really oughta write a book.”

It’s a tale about a dysfunctional family member of mine whose moonshine still caught fire and how it ignited the surrounding woods. The blaze was driven by a 15- to 20-mph breeze and soon the fire was at the outskirts of town. Flames danced up the light poles and across the power lines, and soon reached the ancient brick courthouse.

Yep. It was my second cousin, Bucky Buchanan, who destroyed the town of Doraville, Georgia, depriving the thirsty citizens of cheap hooch until an emergency supply could be imported from a supplier in Griffin, Georgia, in the back of Lenore Epps’ Ford pickup.

This part of my story inspired a slightly inebriated Leland Medford to jump to his feet and shout, “Mañana Man, you oughta write a book!”

It’s this kind of misplaced enthusiasm that has given birth to the self-publishing industry. When my friends and neighbors hear about my book, I am treated with a new reverence. This local adulation inspires me even more and the words flow. Soon, the book passes 65,000 words and there is no end in sight.

At 112,000 words, the author’s wife convinces him to type “The End,” and go get himself a real job.

Now what? I’ll tell you what.

The author learns that he needs a publisher or at least a literary agent. He discovers that you can’t just dial a number in the Manhattan phone directory to hire an agent or be found by a publisher. Getting the book published quickly becomes frustrating and seemingly impossible.

Preying on My Ego

It’s not long before vanity publishers hear of the frustration and begin calling to offer package deals where they will publish and promote the book for a modest $6,795 or thereabouts. The callers are skilled at reviewing your manuscript, even though they haven’t even read it. Actually reading the book is a small impediment standing in the way of the publication of the The Great American Novel.

These reviewer salespeople are adept at lavishing praise by saying things like, “You write in the style of a young Hemingway.” “Your words have the poetic flow of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the beauty of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.”


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