Can Two People Be a Writing Group?

Well, Tom and I are back into our groove, and we spent several hours today writing together. Sometimes our ideas clicked, sometimes we locked horns, but in the end, we got something done!

I must say, writing a book after you're committed to it is a lot harder than just plucking away at it for fun, that's for sure.

We should be able to send Robert a few pages of our manuscript pretty soon so he can get a feel for how to illustrate it.

The fact that he was so geeked about illustrating this for us is such a blessing. He truly is our savior!
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Great Minds Think Alike

It seems there are quite a few famous writers out there that decided for various reasons to go the self published route. Here are just a few: William Blake, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Lord Byron, Tom Clancy, e.e. Cummings, T.S. Eliot, Benjamin Franklin, Zane Grey, John Grisham, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Stephen King, Rudyard Kipling, Louis L'Amour, D.H. Lawrence, Christopher Paolini, Edgar Allen Poe, Beatrix Potter, Marcel Proust, George Bernard Shaw, Upton Sinclair, William Strunk, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf...and countless more!
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You’ve Got A Friend In Me...

Well, the verdict is in, and YES!!!, Bobby Lence wants to illustrate our book for us. He seemed pretty excited and thought is sounded like a great book idea, very unique. I wish everyone reading this could see the silly ear to ear grin I've got on right now!

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A Big Debate=A Big Decision

O.K. After much debating, Tom and I have reached a decision. We are going to self publish our book.

This has been Tom's desire from the beginning, however I had wanted to go the old fashioned route and try to get a publishing house to print it. Tom, on the the other hand (and I do now believe he is right), feels we could sell way more books if we market it ourselves, which you can't very readily do with a publishing house. Additionally, Tom has an illustrator in mind who knows a lot about wrestling, and he seems to think he would be the ideal person to illustrate our book. Of course if we went the traditional publishing route we'd never be able to select who we want to illustrate our book for us. We really have been wrestling with these options for a while now.

Of course we could hire an agent (which would most likely get us published-that's their job-they find the right house for you, but then your agent gets a big chunk of your royalties), but then here again, Tom says, "Why pay someone a percentage of our royalties, just to get it published, when we can do that ourselves relatively inexpensively?". And, we still wouldn't be able to pick our illustrator, and when you take into consideration that royalties on "House", published books are fairly low, and couple that with having to pay an agent at least 10-15% royalties, well then, he has a good point!

The glitch with this route is we will need an illustrator. The illustrator that Tom wants for our book is Robert Lence. He's going to contact him to see if he'd be interested in illustrating our book. We also have several other artist friends, but Bobby would be our first choice, considering he is a former wrestler and would be able to "capture" the image better for us. We still have to finish our manuscript and send it out for him to look over.

I actually am pretty excited now that we've come to this mutual decision. It sure does eliminate the waiting game! Additionally, I really think we will be able to sell quite a few copies. Considering the fact that we go to several children's wrestling meets every weekend for about 5 months of the year, and wrestling camps go on throughout the summer, and wrestling practices run 7 months of the year, we will have lots of opportunities to sell. Heck, we have to be there anyway, might as well set up a book stand while we're there! Tom also said he has at least 20 different accounts with companies that sell wrestling books that will gladly add our book to their sale list, and he has quite a few wrestling magazine contacts who will advertise our book too. Sweet. And just because it is going to be self published doesn't mean it won't be on the bookshelves. It will still get all the same treatment, but we have a lot more control and get much more in royalties (possibly more than 50% per book).

I'm a happy camper right now. It's funny, one of the editors I spoke with at a conference was fascinated with the idea of a kids wrestling book (he said he wrestled in high school and college), and said he'd love to see one out there, but he didn't think it would be a very marketable "shelf" book. He must've been done with wrestling long before all these darn kids wrestling clubs cropped up everywhere! Tom said there are over 1,000 kids wrestling clubs in Michigan alone!

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