It’s a Dog’s Life: Media Hound’s Publisher Tells All

August 2002
by Dennis Fried

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Ten years ago, I completed a humorous memoir about growing up in a small town in the 1950s. I made what I realize now was a very naive attempt to interest an agent or major publisher, and when that led nowhere, I considered self-publishing.

I visited several bookstores and perused their humor sections. All the books there were written by well-known comedians or columnists, and most of these books were not funny. Certainly, I reasoned, there must be many truly humorous books written by non-celebrities–but not one had found its way into the stores. This was valuable information.

If I couldn’t get my book into stores, could I sell it through other channels? More fundamentally, who would be my customers? People who like intelligent humor? Aging baby boomers nostalgic for the way it used to be? None of this thinking was of much help from a marketing point of view. Did I believe I could sell lots of books by talking to people at signings, book fairs, etc.? The answer was no. I put the manuscript away.

 

Dog Writes Book

Three years ago, my wife Katrina and I had a catered party for our dog’s first birthday (a good use of disposable income). I wrote a funny account of the party, as told by little Genevieve, the birthday girl, to send to the guests. Katrina also posted it on the Internet. We got a lot of e-mail asking for more Genevieve stories. After we posted several others, people started asking if the stories were from a…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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