Thursday’s Child

I’m Murderati’s Thursday’s Child.  While Pari is fair of face and Deni is full of grace, as Thursday’s boy, I have far to go.  This pretty much sums up where I am with my writing.  The tagline for my entries is “Hard Pressed in the Small Press.”  My books, so far, have been published in the small press.  Essentially, I’ve yet to crack one of the six major publishing houses in NYC.  That’s where I want to be and it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get there.  So as Thursday’s Child, I do have far to go.

Living in the small press is a tough existence.  Most might think it’s because small press means small staffs, small budgets, limited recourses, smaller print runs and the worst of all—small advances.  This is all true, but these things don’t hinder life in the small presses as much as one particular publishing facet—distribution.  The cold honest truth about the success of any book is that it all depends on distribution.  If it’s not on a bookshelf, then no one knows about it and no one can buy it.  The distribution clout of the small press publishers is so tiny that getting the book on the shelf becomes difficult.  I’m not complaining (much).  It’s just a harsh industry reality.

So the small press means I carry a weight penalty.  That’s fine.  In fact that’s good.  That penalty makes me stronger.  To get my books out there and recognized, I have to be smarter than the average bear.  I consider I’m serving an apprenticeship as a small press author.  I’ve had to develop sharp marketing skills to get my book seen.  As a consequence, I’m right inside the machinery of the publishing engine.  So hopefully, when I get a book with a major publisher that weight penalty will be lifted and I’ll have an edge on my fellow authors.

Each week, I hope to bring you a slice of life in the minor leagues, whether it be writing, selling, promoting or celebrating.  There will be highs and lows, and probably a lot of strange.  I seem to run into strange.  And I promise to poke fun at it too.  So sit down, relax, switch off your cell phone and enjoy the show—and let’s see how far Thursday’s Child can go.

13 thoughts on “Thursday’s Child

  1. Naomi

    *I consider I’m serving an apprenticeship as a small press author. I’ve had to develop sharp marketing skills to get my book seen.*

    I think that’s true. As you go along, you’re building up your readership and fan base for that future book with strong national distribution.

    BTW, my Mother Goose knowledge is rusty–what’s Wednesday’s child? Something foreboding, I think.

    Reply
  2. JT Ellison

    Monday’s child is fair of face,Tuesday’s child is full of grace,Wednesday’s child is full of woe,Thursday’s child has far to go.Friday’s child is loving and giving,Saturday’s child works hard for a living,But the child born on the Sabbath Day,Is fair and wise and good and gay.

    If it makes you feel better, Naomi, I’m a true Wednesday’s child, and I don’t feel woeful at all.

    Reply
  3. Cornelia Read

    You rock, Simon. And your newsletter emails are consistently the best and funniest to grace my humble Yahoo inbox–STILL want to know what happened with that spooky burial mound in your neighbor’s yard, by the way.

    I am so stoked that you guys have ganged up to joint-blog! Here’s a tall glass of light-sweet-crude coffee raised in toast on this most auspicious and splendid occasion.

    May you all have a stunningly quantum-bazillion-guh-normous amount of page hits, more ideas for posts than you can shake piles of sticks at, and, most important, great fun doing this (while never running low on Redi-Whip or Jack Daniels, for the respective sustenance of Pari and Elaine.)

    Murderati is now my first stop-o’-the-morning bookmark.

    VIVA YOU GUYS!!!!

    Reply
  4. simon

    Naomi,

    Wednesday’s Child is full of woe. I thought why go there.

    Cornelia,

    Thanks for coming and I’m glad you like the newsletter. The burial mound is still there…

    Reply
  5. Naomi

    Well, at my core I’m one sad little person, so it’s appropriate. Anyway, this is a mystery and marketing blog, so there’s a little woe to go around for everyone, I’m sure.

    Reply
  6. Ross Hugo-Vidal

    OK, this is numero uno on our family bookmarks too! It’s like MMA meets the Da Vinci Code (whoops, another 200 hits folks!), meets literati, meets gelati, meets Irish Coffee, meets Sugar Ray Robinson, meets Jeff Cohen’s baby picture. Waidaminnit…this is just crazy enough to work! And Sugar Ray fighting above his weight class? Only one of the greatest fighter(s) of all time! In our family we say “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog!” Which is terrific, since our males never weigh over 160 sopping. Rock on!

    Reply
  7. Jeff Cohen

    Well, thanks for the description, JT! I’m afraid “fair haired” has given way to “grey haired,” or at least partially so (I have two teenagers), but I appreciate the sentiment. And Ross… that’s not my baby picture; I’d have a LOT more hair. That’s my–um, what do you call a picture when you’re about three or four years old? Your “toddler picture?” Anyway, I was considerably thinner at the time. Ah, youth.

    Reply
  8. Elaine Flinn

    I’m sitting in a free computer alcove at Embassay Suites in San Rafael-after ten hours of driving – and the guy next to me is wondering why I’m laughing out loud. Am I road weary? Or just enjoying Simon’s blog entry and the great responses from Cornelia & Numero-Uno? Should I tell him? Of course,I did! And guess what? He’s going to bookmark Murderati when he gets home. Now all I have to do is convince him he should buy all of our books. I’ll work on him. Trouble is, the bar is closed.

    Seriously-Great debut, Simon. And the small press syndrome will pass – you’re one of the scariest writers I know. I leave the light on by my bed after I’ve read one of yours.

    Reply
  9. pari

    Simon,I loved your entry.Boy, do I know what you’re talking about re: distribution. It absolutely affects how many people have heard of us both.

    While I adore my publisher, I’d still like to have that mass market ease.

    Reply

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