I’ve mentioned it a few times here and there, but I didn’t want to make a formal announcement until I finally signed the contract. Which I did on Sunday.
My self-published book came out June 28 of last year. The first day it was for sale, it went number one on Amazon in Divorce. Thanks guys! That was also the day, coincidentally, that I was at a conference in Austin pitching agents. Talk about cosmic synchronicity. Nothing like attending a writing conference and getting a tweet that your book went number one as you are just about to meet an agent. I signed with an agent I met there.
But, as aspiring writers know, it’s not enough to get an agent. You have to be able to sell your book to publishers, which is some subjective science of How Much Is Your Book Like Another Best Selling Book? As anyone who has read my book realizes — it’s nothing at all like any other book on infidelity. For one thing, I argue against the presumption of reconciliation (which puts me at odds with 99.9 percent of the existing literature), and for another — I draw cartoons.
Here are some of the rejections I got:
Pass – She’s great – really funny and in-your-face — but I’m afraid I just don’t see a readership for a print book version of her work. I’m sorry. I hope you find her an editor who proves me completely wrong.
Pass – Although I appreciate Tracy’s updated approach to cheating and her tell-it-like-it is tone, I feel like it would be a tough sell beyond her devoted fanbase as I found most of the advice intuitive.
Pass – I love Tracy’s voice—she has great energy and really masters that “feels like a friend talking to you” tone. I like how she is direct and reasonable and funny all the while dealing with a very serious issue. But, to be honest, I don’t think I’m the right editor for this. Maybe it’s because I’m engaged to be married and am having a tough time swallowing the idea of being cheated on (!), but I just don’t feel the passion for this project. If she ever writes something else with a different beat to it, I’d love to take a look because her voice is one that is not easy to come by.
Pass – I really enjoyed Tracy’s empowering, un-pitying approach – she’s the best friend you want to have when you are going through something like this. I can totally see the appeal of this book, and obviously so can others, since she has done nicely with her self-published edition. But in the end, after talking with a few folks here, I’m afraid I have to pass. I’m afraid our concerns about topic overshadowed our enjoyment of her voice, and in the end I’m just not sure I can sell a book about infidelity survival, even one as take-charge as this.
Chump Lady just doesn’t seem like a phrase that women might identify with.
Essentially, nice writer, shame about the topic. I had to laugh that it wouldn’t work in print — after the BOOK went number one on Amazon in Divorce. Yeah, I don’t think it works at all…
As for the advice seems intuitive — well, that’s probably true, until it happens to you and then you realize that common sense is sorely lacking in the existing lit.
Well, thank goodness for Perseus/Running Press who decided to take a chance on me. The cartoons sold it — the new book will be around 256 pages in FULL COLOR with 30-40 new never-before-seen cartoons. If you wonder why I keep using recycled cartoons and e-cards? This is why. I’m saving my mojo for the new book.
Speaking of which — the title will remain the same, but the subtitle will be familiar — “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life.”
The new book has the same material as the old book, BUT twice as much new content, including “Letters to Chump Lady” that illustrate each chapter. I’m making up the letters myself, based on actual submissions and comments I get here. (The stories are so much alike, you may think I chose yours.) Gives my snark free rein. Also there will be new chapters on Switzerland Friends and Family, Obsessing Over the Affair Partner, The Unending Punishment of Breeding with a Fucktard, more chapters on “gaining a life”, and true stories of the mighty. I’ve privately asked some readers here to share their inspirational stories with me. The publisher asked that the participants remain anonymous, but I assure you, these are real stories of triumph over cheater adversity.
All to say, if you bought the old book, I hope you will buy the new one too, as it is significantly different. And I also hope you’ll support the book, because buying it in droves the first year ensures its survival. How it ranks and compares to the existing titles decides things like whether it will be available overseas, will it get reprinted, etc. And finally, I hope you’ll review the next book as positively as you reviewed the first one. All of these things get the Chump Nation message out there to new chumps, and knocks a few unicorns out of the fairy forests.
On a personal note of chump triumph — do you see the fountain pen that I signed the contract with? I bought it in Paris on my honeymoon with my cheating ex. I bought it for him, an extravagant 18-carat-gold nibbed Dupont fountain pen, and spent around 400 Euros. An absolutely stupid amount of money to spend on a pen, but he loved that sort of thing and I was making a bold gesture for his birthday. (Because hey, Paris wasn’t enough?)
When D-Day hit, I hid that pen, and feigned ignorance of its whereabouts. It sat in a drawer. I thought about giving it away several times, because of its sad mojo. I didn’t really want it, I just didn’t want him to have it. I couldn’t get back my wasted time or money or the way he fucked up my son’s life, or my life. But I could take back the damn pen. (I left everything else.)
So the other day, it came out of its dusty drawer to sign the publishing contract for the new Chump Lady Survival Guide to Infidelity.
I thought about giving it away again after that, but reconsidered. Heck, I can sign some books with that pen. Every day I put it into service, I like to think people get a little less chumpy.
So maybe that was 400 Euros well spent after all.
Anywho, the old, existing book will not be for sale after mid-August (except used ). As soon as pre-orders are available, I will update the Book Page here and include the new table of contents and info on ordering. The new Survival Guide comes out March 2016 with Running Press. Thanks Chump Nation — I couldn’t have done it without you.