Below is an excerpt from an incredible blog post by Holly Payne on Alexander Maksik’s debut novel, You Deserve Nothing.
Please read her complete blog post. Her passion for his book will make you want to read the novel – http://hollypayne.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/alexander-maksiks-great-debut.
This excerpt talks about Maksik’s perserverance, even after 70 rejections. Inspiring reading in itself.
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Want to get published? Persevere.
Maksik, 38, the recipient of a Truman Capote Fellowship and a Teaching/Writing fellowship from the Iowa Writers Workshop, clearly knows that the path to publishing takes perseverance. He mentioned enduring seventy-something rejections while he searched for an agent and a publisher. Most people would have given up much earlier. I don’t know what kept him going, but I suspect Maksik draws from some deep reservoir of faith in his work and refuses to allow the word ‘submission’ to have too much power over his process or his psyche.
Rejection after rejection, he continued to submit the manuscript, then just when he was riding a wave of depression, he received an email at the 11th hour. The kind of email that makes you blink and rub your eyes. Eric Simonoff, the highly respected literary agent with Pulitzer Prize winning clients, wanted to represent him.
He recalled the excitement and sheer disbelief of reading Simonoff’s offer. After all those rejections, he lands one of the most legendary agents in the industry. That was a good day. “I thought I was going to be the next Jonathan Franzen,” he said to an audience of adoring fans in his native Sun Valley, many of whom were friends with his parents, the co-founders of the annual Sun Valley Writers Conference. He then went on to joke how he imagined “buying an apartment in Paris” with the publishing advance; however, the advance did not come quickly. Maksik endured yet another round of rejections until he was discovered by Europa editions.
Unlike the fictional Parisian apartment depicted in his novel, he might just have the real deal some day. Last week, his book was favorably reviewed in the New York Times (9/13). A herculean feat for a debut novel first released in paperback….
The sad thing is: Now that his book was reviewed by the New York Times, his publicist won’t let an ordinary but passionate blogger like Holly interview him. The author would love to be interviewed by Holly – because she is such a passionate reader – but the short-sighted publicist refused to allow Alexander to answer Holly’s questions.
Don’t let your publicist do this to you. Call it the curse of the New York Times book review: when a publicist gets too big-headed that she cuts off the life-blood of word-of-mouth – which is responsible for selling 80% of all novels.
This publicist doesn’t understand how important blogs are in creating today’s bestsellers. That’s is sad. Poor Alexander. Poor Holly. Poor all of us potential readers of Alexander’s first novel.
Again, read Holly’s complete blog post. Her passion for his book will make you want to read the novel – http://hollypayne.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/alexander-maksiks-great-debut. Go ahead an read the novel. I think the novel could become a bestseller – despite the publicist’s best efforts to bury it.