How to Get Published is a continuing feature at As the Pages Turn where we ask authors to tell us their publishing stories. Was it a rocky road or did it come easy for them? Did they start with an agent and get a NY publisher interested in their book or did they self-publish? What words of wisdom do they have for all of us who would like to be published one day?
Today’s guest is Rudy Mazzocchi, author of the medical thriller, Equity of Evil (Twilight Times Books).
How I Got Published
By Rudy A. Mazzocchi – Author of EQUITY of EVIL
Getting published… sounds easy enough. I’ve authored a few journal articles, approximately fifty patent applications, wrote dozens of business plans, and gave presentations to the most sophisticated venture capitalist and investment bankers in the country… but getting that first novel published?… it may have been easier to run for state Governor.
Forget the struggle of researching and crafting that first manuscript, the hours, days and eventually months of seclusion from family, friends and colleagues. The kids thinking you’re even more of a workaholic than their school term paper described, the wife not sure if you’re on line with your girlfriend or totally addicted to porn. You write, edit, write, and re-write… never knowing if more than a dozen eyes will absorb your work before glazing over, or worse, never finishing.
While writing, I tried to educate myself on the “process” of this new industry… at least new to me! Having never taken a writing course or even anything past English Literature 101 in college, how did I ever convince myself I could take on such a task? Was it arrogance? Maybe, but more likely it was that damn persistence and determination that drove my existence as an entrepreneur.
My personal network found an old colleague who had become a free-lance editor who was ironically in the process of writing his latest book, “Magic for your Writing – Help for the Aspiring Writer”. He schooled me in many of the fundamentals through an informal engagement as my editor as I continued to try to stay a few chapters ahead him with my writing.
Someone once told me that “there’s probably a novel within each and everyone us”… which I agree is probably true! But according to those internet databases, less than 10% of authors ever become “published” and approximately 2% ever generate any income from actual sales. Despite these lack-luster figures, self-publishing continues to grow nearly 180% each year.
After talking with a dozen editors and other authors in the “biz”, they convinced me to forego self-publishing unless I had a few extra thousand dollars to throw away and space in my garage to store inventory that would take years to move. So I took the classic approach and attempted to find a Literary Agent who would relentlessly negotiate on my behalf to select the best of the blue-chip publishers, all of whom would surely be fighting over the rights to my “book”. (Of course, the Agent would also need to have relationships with producers in Hollywood who would be lining up for movie rights!) Next challenge… to figure out what a “query letter” should look like.
Scratch that… next challenge… how to deal with all the rejection letters stimulated from those query letters. No one told me that agents weren’t willing to consider “first time authors”! So how did all those second time authors get past “NO”? So, I defaulted back to the entrepreneur inside me and found renewed arrogance to determine who I would “allow” to be my Agent. I selected the Trident Media Group in New York and became a Literary Agent Stalker. After an embarrassing number of emails, calls, letters and an eventual I’m-in-town, can-I-stop-by-for-a-personal-introduction visit, she finally said… “maybe”. My manuscript had to be accepted for another professional edit by one of their 3-4 top editors. If one of them agreed to read, review and edit,then they “might” consider floating the manuscript by a few of their publishers. Another couple of payments and six months later, including a new ending, it was finally ready for prime time. Not surprisingly, the verdict was about the same. Publishers thought the topic/theme was too controversial to take such a risk with a new author.
Now with a highly-polished, tight manuscript in hand, I then re-contacted my original editor (Gerry Mills) who introduced me to his ebook publisher, Twilight Times Books—a smaller publishing house who finally shared and understood my entrepreneurial spirit.
Nearly three and a half years have passed after starting the outline for EQUITY of EVIL: a year of research and writing, a year of editing and re-writing, another year of stalking agents and publishers, and six months of additional editing. So here we are… kicking off a Virtual Book Tour with a publicist (Pump Up Your Book), seeking reviewers, doing interviews, and preparing for a release on March 5th. Oh by the way, here is my Book Trailer, Blog, Website, Twitter, Facebook, and Publisher information. Someone please tell me what am I missing?
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAYkQEQBnLk
Publisher (To Order): http://twilighttimesbooks.com/ttb_arc_order.html#EquityofEvil
Rudy A. Mazzochiis best known as a medical device and biotechnology entrepreneur, inventor, and angel investor, with a history of starting new technology ventures throughout the U.S. and Europe. He’s been privileged to have the opportunity to see the newest innovations in healthcare and work with some of the most brilliant researchers, scientists and physicians in the industry.
Authoring more than 50 patents, he has helped pioneer new companies involved in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, neurosurgery and even embryonic stem-cell development. Through these efforts, he has become the recipient of many technology and business awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Healthcare and the Businessman of the Year Award.
Combining these experiences and opportunities, with thousands of hours of travel and long evenings in hotel rooms, he found the initiative to start writing a collection of medical thrillers based on true events, the first of which is entitled EQUITY of EVIL.
You can visit his website at www.rudymazzocchi.com.