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Posted by: GayLayAle ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 10:18PM

Many of you already know this, but a few years ago, I had a ridiculously ferocious attack of writer’s diarrhea, and typed out my life story (up to that point, anyway), focusing a lot on all of the horrors and my shattered heart and soul at the hands of the LDS and its members & local leadership. It ended up being over 60 pages written over the course of less than 10 days. I posted it here in the Biography board in 6 parts (or 5, I don’t rightly recall). Anyway, I’m thinking about possibly looking into what it would take to try and get it published. It would require an almost overwhelming amount of editing, adding & subtracting, clarifying a lot of passages, etc., etc.

I know a few people here have had some luck in this area.

Thoughts?

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 11:04PM

"Getting it published" can mean many different things...

It can mean "getting it commercially published"...

...or "getting it in [book] form" (which could be through a so-called vanity "publisher": a business entity which is paid by the author to get the manuscript into (primarily) book form, with typeset pages, binding, a cover, etc.)...

...or it could mean publishing it on the Internet in some way (as a blog, or as a Print on Demand book).

Of these, the only one I know anything about is commercial publishing, which mainly means: you sell the manuscript (or the concept) to a regular publishing house, they edit the book, print the book, and market the book (and hope they recoup the costs they have incurred along the way).

In commercial publishing, the first, overwhelmingly most important, question is: "Who (precisely) is my market?" Second question is: Can this market be accessed in a way which makes business sense (means: the promotion is cost-effective, and can reach your individual readers through accessible venues: reviews in magazines, appearances of the author at bookstores and book shows and guest lectures, etc.).

As I see it (and I have been watching this for several years), the challenge of exmormon books is to get to potential exmormon, or Mormon, purchasers...and I have no idea how this can be done.

I know of one book re: Mormonism/exmormonism which I (personally) consider both brilliant in its insight, and well written by all commercial standards, yet so far as I was able to determine, the marketing of the book was nearly impossible because the "exmormon market" really is NOT a defined market (economically), but is a conglomeration of international individuals who have, as individuals, left Mormonism for their own personal reasons and have few other connections to each other.

Contrast this with the marketing framework for a book about a new perspective on childcare: numerous interviews for the author on the morning TV shows, reviews/profiles/feature stories in the various "women's" magazines, profiles and news articles in national newspapers, guest shots on radio shows, etc. If the concept is "sexy" (in publisher's terms), there is a well-defined general path to connect a new take on childcare (or popular health concerns, etc.) with potential buyers. I not only do not see anything comparable for exmormons, I don't see HOW anyone could conceivably pull together anything comparable.

However, there IS a well-developed marketing framework for GLBTQ subjects, and if your book would fit within this framework, this might work on many levels: a real commercial publisher, a real commercial editor, a way to connect with the North American GLBTQ community through all the various venues, but the book would have to be geared to the existing GLBTQ marketing audiences and media structures. (Probably, and in other words, heavy on the GLBTQ throughlines, and a whole lot lighter on the Mormon themes, which would be, in most cases anyway, of little interest to the bulk of your retail purchasers (unless the Mormon themes were, in themselves, of general-nonMormon-audience dramatic interest).

In any case, and regardless of how your book is published, marketed, and sold, I STRONGLY suggest that you join Sisters in Crime (www.sistersincrime.org, an organization for female writers of mystery novels; they have various levels of membership and you can join regardless of your gender), because "the Sisters" (as they are known in the publishing industry) have the BEST, organized, accessible, informative, real-life marketing "education" and plans available in the industry, and you can access all of their vast and up-to-date experience and knowledge simply by becoming a "Brother in Crime." Joining the Sisters is the easiest and cheapest entrée into publishing available anywhere in North America. Follow their well-laid-out marketing information (how to get agents...how to do your own marketing, starting where you are right now...how to create a successful book campaign), and you may well be able to actually create a viable economic market out of the disconnected exmormons who now have little existing contact with each other.

If you do this, you will have the eternal gratitude of those other exmormons to come who will THEN have a marketing plan
in place which can be adapted to their particular takes on Mormons/Mormonism/exmormonism.

Mis tres centavos. :)



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2017 11:17PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 11:00AM

Thanks Tevai. You have given a generous if brief lay of the land that I would say is valuable for the OP.

I know an Exmo who self published their story as a novel. Most all of it is true but with another story added to make it more universal in appeal. At the end of the day, it has done quite well for a book with no publishing house behind it and has been given many five star reviews wherever it is reviewed which is not many places. The few who have read it rave about it. One poster on RFM once commented that it was one of the most complete coverages of the Mormon experience ever. The author however, wishes they could have had it published commercially, but no one was interested in the Exmo + Gay angle. We are a small niche market I am afraid.

If you go that route you are down to word of mouth as advertising is ridiculously expensive even in lesser venues. Still, you can say you wrote a book and that is huge and satisfying.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 10:14AM

There are several people on RfM or were on RfM who have published their stories. You might talk to them about it. Cheryl just posted her book free here. I think you can find it on the main page. If you can get in touch with Raptor Jesus, you might ask him. Don Bagley has also published some of his stories.

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Posted by: GayLayAle ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 11:49AM

I know it’s long and requires a bit of a commitment, but I’d love to get some feedback.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 11:59AM

The thing is, I won't lie... And I am not 'literary,' but commercially minded.

If you're comfortable with that, I enjoy editing/proof reading. I play a lot of Beethoven while reading, and cackle maniacally. It's a sport!!

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 12:17PM

GLA: Welcome back. I've been here long enough too to remember you. It's always nice to see memorable posters after a long interval. I'm sure it's healthy to leave a while. I should try it sometime!

Hey, I'd love to read your work. I've loved your posts. I don't have the breadth of experience Tevai obviously has with her detailed and helpful advice but I read incessantly and like to keep up with market trends in publishing. I have no expertise but just enjoyment of real life stories and a few tips picked up from reading about pros and cons of self-publishing vs traditional. Done & Done is certainly correct about the challenges of self-publishing, although it's much more popular and accepted now than previously. It's a viable alternative to finding a traditional publisher, and it's faster. I always think it's too bad that people publish their work for free though. I was just reading about authors who do a mix, having work out with traditional publishers but also putting some out there themselves in a variety of venues. That is one (now acceptable) way to get your work noticed by a traditional publisher (or agent).

I also like the advice to tailor your book in a certain direction, whichever one you want to emphasize. I think your story is so much more than Mormonism although that is a big part of it. Maybe you could emphasize different parts of it for a variety of audiences.

Anyway, I'd love a read of it. If you would accept me, please give your contact info to Eric and he will kindly send it to me via email and I will get in touch with you off board. I echo old dog above - I won't lie either. But having some lay readers, like us, is a recommended step in the publishing process, and volunteer readers who give honest feedback is valuable to an author. It's a recommended step before you approach professional agents, editors, publishers, if you decide to go that route. I would have it as near ready to go as you can before reaching out to professional book people so you have a better chance of being accepted, without pressure of urgent deadlines.

All the best, whichever route you take.

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Posted by: GayLayAle ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 08:25PM

Just FYI- I emailed Susan I/S about posting the link to my Exmo blog here in the forum. My memoir and a bunch of my other rants and ramblings are there, too. I just don’t wanna post the link until I get the OK from the Powers that Be.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 09:59PM

That's how long you've been away, GLA: Sus I/S "retired" from being The Powers That Be a good while back! I'm not sure if she would get your message now. Maybe you could email Eric for permission to give a link. (That is a very good idea, btw. Why not share the wealth around).

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Posted by: GayLayAle ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 10:01PM

I didn’t know she’d stepped down!

I’ll shoot Eric an email instead

Thanks!!

GLA

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Posted by: anon2day ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 01:49AM

I think it's a great idea. It is important to make people aware that domestic abuse and cruelty does not only happen to women. Perhaps a domestic shelter for gays and other lgbt needs to happen and be available. If you had had a place to go you would have gotten away sooner and healed sooner. Just something to think about.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 04:06AM

The Scottish ex-Mormon--James Reed was it?--wrote up his experiences. John Williams did too, in Heaven Up Here.

I don't know much about the process but think the effort is important if you can do it. The more of our stories are available to historians, the better the record will be and the more sociologists will be able to glean from the Mormon experience.

So although it's easy for me to say this from the peanut gallery, I would love to see you do it, GLA.

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 06:36AM

I look forward to reading it when you eventually decide in what form to publish it.

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