It really isn’t a big secret that I would love to be a millionaire. That old adage ‘money doesn’t buy happiness”? Well I’d love to know if it really is true or not. There is also another famous line about the ever popular, substantial sum of money that sounds a lot more appealing: “If I had a million dollars, I’d be rich.” If I were rich, maybe I would invest in a canoe so I could paddle my way out of my street.
But I digress…Let’s talk for a minute about what could get a person into the million dollar club. Specifically, that person, being me.
So as you all know by now I have this book, well manuscript in its current incarnation, and it’s a pretty satisfying story to me. I’m in love with my leading male character, didn’t feel like killing off anyone more than I actually did, feel good about the plots & sub plots and like the way it flows overall. Is it a million dollar idea though? I’m not quite sure.
The book is Chick-lit (a term which I absolutely loathe but sadly seems to be here to stay), mainstream fiction. The basic premise is: 4 middle to upper middle class friends, from all manner of backgrounds but who share the common bond of entrepreneurship, live and work in the Boston area and try to make their way through the muck that is life with a smile and a laugh knowing they will be there for each other no matter what that life may throw at them.
Can’t you just see the rainbows shooting across the sky?
Okay, before you start to retch all over your keyboard, the story is actually fairly real, none of them do anything for a living that could have them jetting off to distant lands with loads of money and a perfect significant other waiting for them back home.
Okay, well maybe one of them does. Wait, two. Er, thr…never mind. It’s a piece of fiction. Chick-lit at that. Suspend the disbelief people.
But therein lies the issue of the million dollars.
Quick, name the last Chick-lit novel that made its writer a boat load of cash? Sex and the City? And didn’t that only become a hot selling book after the show of the same name got made? Suddenly people everywhere were asking the questions ‘Wait, it’s a book too?’ and ‘Who the heck is Candace Bushnell?’
I would wager that not many know she also wrote the book that, for some reason, NBC also tried to turn into a television show, Lipstick Jungle. (In that case, I’m sure the book did do way better than the show.)
It isn’t as if the genre won’t sell, it certainly does to people who are hungry for a flirty read that lets them laugh through a fantasy woman’s tragically hilarious trials so they can feel better about their own life. Hell, I felt better about myself just for having written the damn thing, but a best seller that makes a million dollars? Hmmm…not really sure.
Now, that’s not to say that if it doesn’t end up in the Times it won’t make a million dollars. Not strictly. There are many ways to pimp oneself out these days that have nothing to do with the top critic’s gauge of the awesomeness of the novel (although it is awesome, I assure you). Two words my friend -- Social Networking.
There are so many ways to market a story, so many people out there in the virtual world, that it almost seems pointless to go with a standard publishing house and wait the year after acceptance just to get it printed, when I could just hop on over to one of the bajillion self publishing sites, upload the MS and have copies on hundreds of people’s shelves by this holiday season.
Hundreds. Hundreds? Well at roughly $2 profit per sold copy, let’s just do the quick math here. That means (assuming it’s at the very top of the hundreds category) I only have $998, 002 to go. Seventy or so more books and I could be a millionaire! Yippie!
Yeah, the day I croak. Maybe even long after.
The potential for sales does greatly increase with an old school publishing house. But of course the profit decreases. But of course the editing is better. But of course that might mean I have to rewrite the entire thing to what they want it to be. But of course they can sign me for a multi book deal.
Maybe if I want to really make boat loads of cash I should go literal and just build boats. But not some silly, lame canoe. Instead, I bet I could sell a million, $1.00, “Build Your Own Ark” kits to everyone up and down the east coast this week.
They can take 2 copies of my book on board with them when they float away.