The book has gone to the printer and in 2 to 6 weeks we should
have this book in the stores.
The Adventures of Megan Martin took about
a year to complete and we spent the next year trying to figure out how to get a
book published. When you hear the horror stories about how difficult it is
to get a book published you have only heard part of it. Even publishers
who say they like the story will tell you they are not interested in it at this
time and to contact them again in a year or so. A writer could starve to
death long before they can get a manuscript published by a regular publishing
After trying for a year to get a publisher
to publish the manuscript for us we were advised by several people to get us a
literary agent. We were told that publishers will listen to agents before
they will the actual writer of the manuscript. So we spent the next few
months trying to get an agent to take the job. We contacted more than 20
agents and were told basically the same things the publishers were telling
us. Most of them said the story was at least twice to long to be a
children's book and they were not interested in it. Some of them
practically ordered me to cut the story length in half and I said I could do
that but it would ruin the story. I also told them it was not a children's
story but that it was young adult and family reading for a general audience and
they had the nerve to tell me there was no such literary category. All of
the agents I spoke with except one had very abrasive hard core attitudes.
It was a "this is the way it is take it or leave it" and even if
I had done what they ordered me to do there was no guarantee they would ever
sell the book.
I did find a female agent who loved the
story and read it to her own children. She believed in it and tried for
the past two years to market the manuscript to a publishing company receiving
the same basic results I had received over my duration of trying to market it
myself. I paid out $150 for every 6 month contract with her to help pay
her expenses, so we paid out $600 for literary agent expenses when if we had
known what we were doing we would have had the book published long before now
for less than that.
In general and under normal self
publishing rules it would cost us from $1,500 to $5,000 to have the book
published ourselves. Some of these publishers rewrite your story and buy
the rights from you then pay you a royalty of some small % when they sell
it. These royalties are not large but generally around 3-6% on the
retail price of the book. A friend of mine put me in contact with a
publisher who told the story just like it is and who for a small price will
allow us to be the boss over how the book looks and we can keep the copyright of
the book in our own name. We control the book in that respect and they
told us about things other regular publishers do not want us to know.
Myth: They want you to believe how well
you write the book is critical to your selling the manuscript or not.
Yes a well written
manuscript will generally sell better than one that is not but the truth is that
the worst writers in the world can sell their books time and time again not
because they are well written but because they know someone at the publishing
company who gets them around the traps at the "front door." To
prove this a man who wrote a best seller that sold over 400,000 copies took the
same manuscript and changed a few things then resubmitted it to over 20
publishers, one of them being the very same who had all ready sold over 400,000
copies. This new manuscript was basically the same but submitted under
another author's name. Minor changes has been made to the manuscript to disguise
it from the original but the content itself was the same. The publisher
wrote back telling him the manuscript was no way near the caliber as the other
author and they would never be able to sell it so they were not
interested. Other publishers said basically the same thing indicating that
a book that was all ready a best seller couldn't be recognized as being high
quality potential best seller by the publishing agents being
contacted. So you could send them a block of pure gold and
they wouldn't know it from a pile of rusted metal.
There's a lot more the publishers don't
want you to know but that's a long story and what I want to tell our fans and
potential fans is that we have found a publisher now who is going to publisher
this story for us, don't charge as much as regular self publishers, pay higher
royalties than regular publishers and will allow me to be the boss over how the
books looks and we can keep our copyright in my name.
New graphics are being designed for the
cover and soon as these graphics are ready we are on our way to the publisher
with it. Expect the Adventures of Megan Martin to be in print this
year. Check back here for more information about it. Feel free to write
me if you have questions.
Update 2-24-1999: I talked with an agent today about the story
and she said "we simply can't sell a children's book that is over 40,000
words in length because a child simply will not read the entire book.
"They just won't wade through it" was one of the terms she used.
So now I'm stuck trying to figure out how to cut the book literally in
half and still have a decent book. I'm going to load it up and start
removing sections and chapters and see what I end up with. We sent
off another manuscript, a very short one to see if we can get it published
in the meanwhile.
Update 2-21-1999: After being contacted by a literary agent
and told where to send the manuscript to we did so then received a message
from the agent telling us that our story was more than twice to long.
They asked me to shorten it but to do so is to cut the book in half leaving
it without any resolution. It would make it a cliff hanger forcing
people to buy two books just in order to get the conclusion from the first
one. I must try to find another agent who will print the book as
is before I resort to something so drastic.
Special Update 01-28-1999:
Good news, I finished the story a few minutes ago. Now come the second
round of re-editing, reformatting and printing so I can send it out to
the publisher. It won't be long now until you can read the adventures
of Megan Martin Yourself. In fact I intend to post part of the first
chapter and perhaps even selected exciting excerpts from the story right
here on a special page just for our visitors. NOTE
3-5-2002: I knew it wouldn't be easy to get a publisher but had no idea it was
possible to spend a life time tyring to get one and never succeed. Regular
publishers have secrets they don't want us to know about and can turn down a
perfectly good story for a life time. Some have even threatened people
telling them all kinds of bad things about self publishing and while some of it
may be true about self publishers not all are like they. They don't want
you to know that many popular writers were first self published before a regular
publisher took them in. They don't want you to know there are publishing
services out there who are not what you would call self publishers who perform
all the same services of a regular publisher and pay a higher percentage rate
than regular publishers do. Look how long we worked with a regular
literary agent and got no results. Then a friend of mine had two books
published and I asked her how she managed that and she told me her secret.
She put me in contact with Write To Print and now we are very near having this
Update 01-21-1999: Megan Martin update, I'm up to the point
where I am rewriting the end of the story. I intended to have it
done this week but thanks to a cold it doesn't look to promising at the
moment. I'm also doing a little updating on some of the webpages,
like this one. Notice the change and I hope you like it, enjoy.
Update 1-20-1999: Working hot and heavy on the Megan Martin Story.
Re-editing it and hope to finish it this week.
Recently a funny thing happened. A young lady
by the name of Megan Martin wrote to Laura and Kristy and wanted to know
more about the story. This web site is all but hidden back here and
usually only friends and family members are able to find it. But
Megan Martin found it and we are very glad she did. Because of her
e-mail and my daughters insistence on getting the story ready to publish
I am now updating this web site and hope to get back to work on the actual
The Megan Martin Mysteries started off with a single
idea and then branched into concepts to produce a series of stories starting
with this first story or episode which I may call "Adventures In Time."
It is difficult enough to find time to write stories
like this and Laura (our Megan Martin) is my helper, or should I say I
am her helper ? :-) So we must both take the time to work on
The first one is actually complete except for some
editing and a few other little changes that need to be made. It is
over 150 pages long single spaced on 8.5" x 11" paper. I guess that
would be around 300 pages when it is double spaced in manuscript format.
My wife tells me I had better get it finished and
get it published because it would be a real shame to spend that much time
and effort on a good story and not share it with others. I think
she is right. So I am going to see what I can do about that.
Recently we spent 3 months and several thousand dollars
to build the girls a little TV studio here at the house. It has lights,
a stage, curtains chroma green wall, fog curtain effect device, 3 cameras
and an entire control room to run things with. Which by the
way is my computer room now. All of this has been very costly and
time consuming but the girls love the studio and use it for something nearly
every day. Money is time as they say and the girls held a very special
"Happy Pumpkin Day Fest" which turned out to be a two day party.
The entire thing was shot and edited into a 1:45 min video tape which they
are asking $10 donations per tape. The money is theirs to help them
pay for the expenses of their productions and to help produce next year's
production. Mom and I have done about all we can afford to do in
that department for the time being and when they need money for certain
items for their productions they like to pitch in and help make the money
themselves. They also make ceramics they sell to help make their
money. A corner of their studio and one entire shelf above the door
is dedicated to this effort. I expect to make a web page just for
that purpose when we build their web sites.
For now that is the update. I hope to be back
soon to do more.
Thanks for your interests and please do write the
girls and tell them you are interested in their productions.