Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Thursday, May 05, 2005

One Lucky Shit

Over at POD-DY MOUTH, there’s an interview with Natasha Munson, author of a self-published book, LIFE LESSONS FOR MY BLACK GIRLS, which she published through POD iUniverse. The book, retitled, will now be published by Hyperion and she has two sequels on the way.

How’d it happen? She originally sent her book to three real publishers to no response. Then she submitted it to two agents and was rejected. So she self-published with iUniverse. Then lightning struck. Munson explains, “ I was featured in a wonderful article in USA Today with the heavy hitters of self-publishing. They interviewed or discussed Robert Kiyosaki, Dan Poynter, James Redfield and me. And I was the only one with a picture in the article. It was amazing! And David Dunton, who is now my agent, saw the article and contacted me. Not to be too cliché, but the rest, as they say, is history.”

Here’s the promotional copy for the book.

“Life Lessons for My Sisters is for anyone who has felt stressed or depressed about the choices they made in their life. It's for anyone who has felt overwhelmed and discouraged. It's for anyone who is struggling to change the course of her life. It's for those who are desperately trying to push a dream into existence. It is for the woman that needs to know how to say no, how to handle her finances, how to choose the right relationships and career. It is really a guide to becoming the best you, the best woman, possible. Life Lessons gives you the foundation to live a life you LOVE."

In the interview, Munson says, “There’s an old saying that some people like and some people find offensive but it is simply this, One monkey don’t stop no show. Any author with a quality product should never allow their dream to be restricted because of a NY rejection. Find another way to make your dreams a reality. The only time you do not have other options in life is when you refuse to see the options. You have to firmly believe in your success. You have to see it in your future like a light at the end of a tunnel.”

Munson was amazingly lucky, and almost everyone who’s lucky wants to interpret their success solely as the predestined reward for their unflagging perseverance. I find it amazing that someone can fill a book with this kind of platitudinous crap and that anybody actually buys it. It sounds like regurgitated Tony Robbins and every other self-help guru. Lots of nebulous generalities.

Old adage: You can do anything if you try hard enough.

That's a statement of faith, not a useful response to someone's specific situation. You either buy the statement or not. Can a midget beat Mike Tyson in the ring if he tries hard enough?

As for how Ms. Munson went from iUniverse to a reputable publisher - lightning struck. She got her name and photo in a major article. An agent read about her and decided to represent her and was able to find an editor who agreed with his assessment of the book’s potential. That’s hitting triple cherries on the slot machine. Lucky shit. She won the lottery. So if you can't get a deal with a trade publisher, go POD and hope someone writes about you in an article and you get discovered. Just don't stake all your hopes on it.

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