So the other day, I was just browsing random stuff online and I was like...
"Hey! Why don't I look into 'how to publish a book?"
So I clicked on this link that apparently gave free publishing consultants if you gave them a few details.
So stupid old me gave them my email address and phone number...I thought..."Why not? What harm will it do?"
And then I get a message on my phone from some American woman called Jane. Her message seems like she's just read out what she's meant to say from a book and is so contrived, I already start doubting she's telling the truth.
Then I get an email from her.
She turned out to be some woman from a publishing company (Trafford Publishing???) who was asking me what I was wanting to publish and when would it be ready.
Now, I asked for some publishing advice...I didn't ask to pay $649 (yes...it's meant to be in dollars) just for 2 printed copies of my book from a publishing company in America (bloody miles away!) from a publishers I'd never heard of!
So I decided to ignore the email and have a think.
Later that day, Jane (whoever she is!) phones and starts talking to me in her awfully contrived way. She says things like: "So, what would you like publish? And do you already have something to publish or is it not ready yet?"
I said, "Well, yeah, I do have something to publish, but I wasn't quite thinking of it yet. I just want some advice..."
"You can buy our package which gives you two copies of your published material but it has to be 49 pages long. If it isn't, we'll put some pictures in there to fill up the pages. Do you have any idea in mind what pictures you would like to put in?"
Okay, it doesn't sound contrived like this but, trust me. She sounded like a robot.
"But I don't want to publish something at the moment - "
"Do you have something you could publish?"
"Well, yes, but - "
"You can email us the material and we'll print it for you and send the copies to you by post."
"Woah, woah, hold on a sec! So I'm just supposed to email it to you?"
"Yes. It is really very easy. Just email us and - "
"Yes, I know what to do. But how do I know that you're not just going to take my material and disappear?"
"We have been running for 17 years now, we are a legitimate company so just email your material to us and - "
"Yes, but where is the proof?"
"I can send you a legal document along with the package and the copies if you want?"
"Umm well...no, hang on! I want the legal document before I get the copies!"
At this point I realise I didn't even want to do this in the first place.
"Hang on" I say, in my very English way. "I don't think I can pay for this. I - "
"It's only $649 dollars. It is much cheaper than other places"
Yeah. Exactly. I think to myself.
"Look, I'm going to have to think about this."
"Okay, well don't be afraid to contact me if you change your mind when ever on these numbers: *insert loads and loads of numbers that I couldn't possibly have remembered or even written down in time*. Should I send you more information via email?"
To get her off my back, I agree.
"Yes, okay. But, be aware, I might turn this down." I say, very strongly meaning: I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS! But, apparently, robots don't understand sarcasm...
"Okay, well I will email you the information. Please do get in contact with me about when you will pay for the copies of your manuscript and email us your work when ever you want"
"But I don't want to - " sigh. "Yes. Okay. I'll get back to you with my decision."
And finally, the conversation with the robot was over. I had to say yes to get her off my back! It's my manuscript so it's not as if they can force me to send it. So I'm obviously not going to send it.
When I put the phone down I was exhausted.
I had just learned a lesson.
Publishing consultants are like robots.
Robots don't understand sarcasm.
SO! Back to the reading and writing! I now realise, the poems that I thought were ready to be published (but I didn't want to publish quite yet) are actually not ready.
So it's back to the good old - let's just write and hope it's good - days.
I say to myself: Just take a breather and hope that not everyone in the publishing world is like that!