It’s been a long time since I mentioned any sort of book news, hasn’t it?
Well, I’m happy to say that we haven’t thrown the manuscript into a fire, nor have we used it to line litter boxes or birdcages. (that’s a joke!) Believe it or not, it still exists, and we’ve even spent time retooling some of it along the way. We’ve also learned that Durantime is CONTAGIOUS. (I should have known. Damn that band.)
There are no real excuses here, other than not enough time. Amanda works full-time (and then some), I live 2,500 miles from her. In order to really work on the manuscript at this point, we have to either be together or do marathon Skype calls, both of which we’ve done in order to finish the writing and some massive editing. Then it came down to researching publishers (there are not nearly as many non-fiction publishers as fiction), and putting together book proposals. (One of our biggest challenges with the process is that each publisher has their own list of what must be included in a book proposal, and no two are alike, of course.) Each publisher also handles their own types of books, topics, and lengths, so an author cannot simply just send out 100 proposals to 100 publishers. If only, right? Needless to say, the process has dragged out a bit long for us, but in hindsight – as someone very wise said to me rather recently – “you’ll know when its ready and is the right time.”
It’s ready. I’ve never been more sure of that. By the time it’s published, it will be the right time. Durantime!
There is something very satisfying in hearing Amanda say “Ok, it’s done!” after seeing her click “send” on our query emails and attachments. In a lot of ways it feels like we’ve already met our goal because we’re sending these proposals out. Finally!! (Amanda would not agree with me on that, but I’m thrilled just the same.) On the same token, I’m hopeful that we find a publisher willing to take a chance on us.
I believe the process might be easier if I had more letters by my name. I do not have a master’s degree or higher, which for the type of book we wrote, might have been helpful. It’s not your fandom-tell-all, and it’s absolutely not a love note to the band, either. We tried to make the book personable and funny (because if you’ve ever been with Amanda and I on a touring road trip…well…that’s funny!), but also as a sort of ethnography about fandom as a culture. Publishers seem to like those extra letters when you’re trying to sound smart, I guess! At the very heart of who I am though, music and fandom is my true passion. I care more about music and fandom as a type of culture than anything I’ve ever studied or spent time learning or researching, and it just so happens that Duran Duran is at the core of those things for me. I would rather talk about music or art than anything else. I’m thankful I have friends online that indulge me from time to time!
Amanda’s education, however, lies in women’s studies and exceptional education, and she does have her masters. Believe it or not, those degrees (or lack thereof in my case) make a difference to a publisher. One doesn’t send in their entire manuscript with a proposal, so decisions are based upon a couple of sample chapters, an annotated table of contents (think outline), resumes (goodness I haven’t earned a real salary since I was 26 and I’m now 45!) along with a survey of the proposed market, it’s conditions, and whatever else the publisher wants.
On one hand, I’m excited. I want people to see the finished product. I don’t think I’ve ever put my heart and soul into anything like this project. I suppose that for me, even if it were to never find a publisher, I know it is my best work and I’m proud – but make no mistake, I want it published and I’m not stopping until it is. We owe ourselves and the manuscript at least that much. On the other hand, I’m also scared to death. I only have a tiny sense of what it is like to produce work that is consumed by someone other than myself (because of this blog), and once it’s out there – it no longer belongs to you, which is quite frankly a bizarre sort of feeling. But, I’m not at that point yet, and there are no guarantees. I’m just glad we’ve finally gotten the more tedious parts of the proposal writing process over so that we can send them out.
Once the book has been accepted by a publisher, I am going to write a cleansing blog post about how cathartic the entire project has been for me personally. Every single day I changed as a woman, a person, and a fan. I’m still seeing those changes in the way I react to situations, people I’ve met both online and in person, and things the band has done. I wouldn’t trade a day of any of it, and I am so lucky that I had the opportunity to write with Amanda…even if I will sometimes argue to the death over a single word in a sentence. (sorry Amanda)
Believe it or not, we are also going to start working on sending proposals to publishers (this time, we’re actually doing this the right way and sending proposals FIRST) for another book! Also about Duran Duran, but in a different vein. Can’t say more than that right now because we’re only just beginning that process, but I’m excited about starting and having to do hours and hours of research in the form of watching videos, listening to music, reading books and magazines and going to concerts!
So, that’s the snapshot “where we are today” of book news. I know it’s been a long, LONG, progress. I hear that there’s talk of beginning a Daily Daily Duranie blog where discussion of why the fandom book is taking so damn long can happen! I would just like to say as our defense that Amanda and I learned from the experts – the band (!!) – on how Durantime works. We blame Nick, John, Simon and Roger because apparently Durantime is contagious. Who knew?!?