Daily Archives: January 11, 2012

Then We Ran: Publishing a Novel

OK. Just to prove that I haven’t been wasting all my time during my quasi-retirement, I wrote a novel last year, Then We Ran. Here’s the blurb: In Then We Ran, a bond to run a marathon each month for a year joins two runners, an older man and a younger woman, as they strive to rebuild their lives.

Now comes the dicey part: figuring out how to best publish the book. And there are plenty of options now, including self-publishing and posting an e-book for those who have a Nook, Kindle and so on. But just for the hell of it, I’m going to pursue the more traditional route of trying to find an agent who will help me land a contract with what I guess is now referred to as a mainstream or traditional publisher.

We’ll see. I know virtually nothing about this — although I see some parallels in the world of book publishing to what I’ve seen (and continue to see) in journalism and the news media. And if nothing else, it will give me something new to opine about occasionally on this blog.

Hey, every time I write these days about the crisis in education, the crashing and burning of America’s middle class, or the pitfalls of a weak economy and long-term unemployment I can almost hear the collective yawn roaring back through my computer screen. And, since I’m barred from opining about Her Royal Hotness, Pippa, for reasons that I won’t elaborate on, well that pretty much only leaves the Anybody-But-Romney Republican presidential hopefuls and the Kardashians. Yawn.

So I’ll spend at least some of my time sharing the experience of trying to get a book published.

Andy Rooney, the CBS 60 Minutes pundit and writer who died late last year, remarked that he always found it interesting how many people wanted to write a book — if only they had the time. The assumption, he said (and I’m paraphrasing here) was that writing is easy and that anybody could do it but that things like jobs, family and an addiction to reality TV got in the way.

The solution: put off writing the Great American Novel until retirement. Rooney wondered why so many wanted to write a book in retirement — rather than let’s say argue a case before the Supreme Court or perform open heart surgery.

Well, I’ve written a book. Now we’ll see if it would have been easier to go before the Supreme Court.