An Overdue Update

Well, both myself and my blog have just celebrated their birthdays—and it has also been about a year since I last posted a major update on what’s happening with me—so I thought it was high time I posted another one. The past year has brought some disappointment, but also some new hope.

First of all, we have pretty much given up on getting a publisher for the English language edition of my health and beauty book. To make it worth our while to hand over so much of the profit from my book to a publisher, we really need them to get behind it and promote it on an international scale—this is especially true given that the majority of my fans are outside of Australia. However, as a first time (and somewhat unconventional) author, no publisher has been willing to invest this much in me at such an early stage. We remain hopeful that we will be able to get a Chinese language publisher who will give me the support I need, but even though Mandarin is my mother tongue, translating my book back into Chinese has proven surprisingly difficult—English is just so much better for getting across many of the concepts I try to express. I haven’t given up on it though, and we will soon be getting the English version of the book ready for publishing and selling ourselves over the internet.

If we are going to promote it ourselves though, we really need to generate a lot more capital than we have now—we need an extra stream of revenue, while still giving us the freedom to continue with my projects. And this blog has given me the inspiration and encouragement I need to figure out a way to achieve this goal: basically, I am going to be combining the sort of interaction I have with my fans here with my nude modelling work. How will I do that? Sorry to be a tease, but I actually don’t want to give too much away right now until we’ve figured out all the details of exactly how we’re going to go about it. Suffice it to say though, we are very confident it will be something my fans—and I—will greatly enjoy. Given that it will be pointless to launch my book without it—and especially as my fans have been waiting so long for me to return to modelling—we have actually shelved any further work my health and beauty book, so we can get this exciting project going as soon as possible. Barring any major unforeseen difficulties, it looks as though it will be ready to go by the end of next month.

This blog has also given me the inspiration for my next book project. Given all the great atheist writers we already have (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchins, Sam Harris etc.), I never imagined that I would have anything really worthwhile to contribute to this field, at least in book form. But the reaction to my blog seems to suggest otherwise, and there’s one particular area where I feel I am uniquely qualified to make a contribution: sexual suppression. Of course other atheist writers talk about it, but I don’t think anybody else quite “walks the talk” the way I do—and our new project will extend this even further. I also have a lot of experiences to share in relation to sexuality, which I feel could be very enlightening—and even inspirational—for many people struggling with this issue.

Of course, with all the other things I already have going, this book will be some way off, but it’s something I feel I really want to do. Ironically, we originally conceived my health and beauty book as a means of lifting my profile, as we felt it would be a relatively easy sell to a publisher, so they could get the weight of their publicity machine behind me. There’s still a very good chance that will happen in the Chinese market, but given that we’ll be publishing it ourselves in the English market, a book on how atheism allows us to break free of damaging sexual suppression would probably be of more interest to most of my fans! I still very strongly believe that my health and beauty has a lot of good advice to offer though, and I’ve come way too far with it to give up on it now. And it seems as though I’m in very good company amongst first time authors who had to self publish: as is very well known, J.K. Rowling couldn’t get a publisher for the first Harry Potter book, and now she’s the most commercially successful author ever! (Although I have to say that Harry Potter isn’t to my taste.)

Tags:

In the US, the trick is to get an agent. Take a look at Nathan Bransford’s website for useful information. I am in the same boat as you. The economy and the state of the publishing business don’t help. There have been a lot of cutbacks and cancelled projects. Be very wary about self-publishing. Again, go to the Net for information, but make Bransford your first stop. Although it is now inactive, another good source is ‘Miss Snark,’ whose advice is worth noting.

  
Quote
  Reply

It is true that this is a bad time to get try and get a book published, but thanks for the info anyway!

  
Quote
  Reply

you could always put it online and even if it’s hard, translate it yourself, i’m sure your writing skills must be good enough for that

  
Quote
  Reply

I recommend self-publishing as well. It’s a lot of work, but I know you’re up to the challenge. Try to touch base with Amanda Brooks, author of the Internet Escort’s Handbook. She has many stories on the challenges of finding a publisher: Adventures in Small Publishing.

Good luck with your endeavor! I hope to publish one day as well, twenty years down the road though. I’m working on a fantasy novel. :)

  
Quote
  Reply

@Sachiko

I would recommend an agent here in the U.S. that could publish your book but that’s just me. I really think that you would make Sarah Palin look like a 7th grader once you book comes out! Best of luck to you.

  
Quote
  Reply

I can not see how it can be a bad time to publish a book. Just write it!!

I look forward to you book signing tour!!

Michael Wheeler
San Diego
p.s., will you slip a dvd in the back cover???

  
Quote
  Reply

Thankyou to everyone for their advice, both here and via email. I have to say though @Al – I think pretty much anyone would make Sarah Palin look like a 7th grader. ;-) Oh yes – my Exercise and Yoga DVD was originally intended to accompany my health and beauty book, and probably still will.

  
Quote
  Reply

I do happen to have a friend in the business, my dear Sachiko. He’s a bit small time, does mostly design and advertisement, but it could be a foothold for you into the market. He’s an old College Republican buddy of mine, but I could put in a good word for you. That is, if you’re interested in doing business w/ a conservative. *laughs diabolically*;)

  
Quote
  Reply

@Sagredo – I think the real question is: will he be interested in doing business with a progressive? ;-)

  
Quote
  Reply

I wish you every success in getting these books out. I do hope you find the excellent professional support that your ideas and feelings deserve in publishing in the area of sexual enlightenment. Hopefully you will soon prepare a brilliant and attractive work on the pursuit of health over and against the historically mundane (and often downright false) religious environment of sexual repression in the world.

  
Quote
  Reply

Hi Sachiko,

Though I wish you the best with your book, I must admit I’m here for a more selfish reason. I stopped by ask about the new project you ‘teased’ about. Any updates?

Cheers,
Marc

  
Quote
  Reply

Hi Marc,

Unfortunately we are currently being held up by the same problem that has held us up many times in the past – billing arrangements. When we started on the internet, we weren’t expecting any problems with this, as we thought it was completely international. But not living in the US or Europe has made this aspect of our business a lot more difficult than we ever imagined! But we’ll work something out.

  
Quote
  Reply

Wow! You’re a speedy responder!!!

I’m sorry to hear that it’s turned into a hassle. The world is not as small as it seems sometimes.
Well, the best things are worth waiting for…

Marc

  
Quote
  Reply

Actually, I’m normally pretty slow – you just happened to catch me as I was going through my mail!

  
Quote
  Reply

Well since I’ve got you on the line, let me tell you that I truly enjoy your nude modeling site (you are gorgeous).
And to find out through your blog how intelligent you are is refreshing to say the least.
Thank you for the material, i look forward to ‘the new stuff’. lol

Have great day,
Marc

  
Quote
  Reply

Thanks Marc – you are very welcome. :-)

  
Quote
  Reply

Hi Sachiko,

It’s me again! Quick question for you. You mentioned you were
having billing problems for your new project. Does that mean that
I can no longer become a member again on your site? I never did see
the naughty version of the last video! : ).
Hope the new project is still coming. Looking forward too seeing you naked……again Lol

Marc

  
Quote
  Reply

Hi Marc,

It seems you always post when I am online myself!

No, there aren’t any problems with our present web site billing. Our new project will require far more complex billing arrangements though, which we still haven’t figured out a solution to unfortunately.

  
Quote
  Reply

Dear Sachiko,

As a writer of many years, I read your tribulations approaching the publishing industry with great interest (and sympathy). Personally, I would avoid “vanity publishing” (or self publishing) like the plague. If your work is good enough, a publisher will offer you a deal.

It’s highly ambitious to expect publishers to agree “international promotion” on a first book deal. Their costs are likely to be too high. Since you’re based in Australia, a wise approach would be to seek an Australian publisher. If sales prove adequate, one is much more likely to secure international promotion on the basis of a successful national book launch.

Here’s some gold-plated facts I offer all serious writers:

1. Consult the Writers & Artists Year Book (This is published in the UK, yearly, but there may be an Australian equivalent). This book includes agents and “publishing houses” by genre.

2. Always copyright before sending anything to an agent or commissioning editor, including synopses, photos or summaries. There’s a low cost way to copyright (no lawyer needed). Please email me for details of this process, if you wish.

Finally, I noted your new book relates to “Health & Beauty”. You may have run into difficulties due to a glut of existing titles in that “genre”. (A common stumbling-block for writers). Understanding your readers is the key to a publishing deal – They may not be buyers of “Health & Beauty” books, if you see my point?

Note: I’d also avoid publishing online, a legal eagle once told me anything uploaded to the Net is instantly “Public Domain” and therefore, free from copyright restrictions.

PS: I believe J.K. Rowling did not self-publish, she secured a deal with a children’s publisher, Bloomsbury (after consulting the Writer’s & Artists Yearbook).

  
Quote
  Reply

@nbwriter – Although I haven’t yet updated this post, I do currently have a plan for publishing my books, which I am quietly (but sadly very slowly!) executing on. In response to a few of your points:

1) Your copyright suggestion is a good one, and it’s something that’s been suggested to me before.

2) I am well aware that there’s a glut of health and beauty books, but that’s because they’re popular, and my book really does have a unique take on it. Indeed, I think the uniqueness of my ideas may actually be the problem: acceptance of them would really upset the applecart of a huge industry.

3) The iPad is changing the face of the publishing industry as we speak; I don’t think I can ignore it.

  
Quote
  Reply

Dear Sachiko,

I appreciate your reply: thank you.

Copyright becomes important if another author challenges the authenticity of your work: (An accusation of plagiarism). A famous recent case was that of Dan Brown, author of bestseller “Da Vinci Code”. Two authors claimed Dan had stolen the “architecture” of their novel, “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”. The judge ruled in favour of Brown, since ideas themselves cannot be copyrighted. No direct copying of “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” had taken place.

Book Markets: “Unique Perspective”

Although I know the English book markets (or genres) fairly well, its becoming harder for new authors to enter any market for many reasons. (J K Rowling is an exception, rather than the rule). Although I haven’t read your entire blog yet I have enjoyed reviewing your website and “Sexy Bible Readings” due to your lively intellectual, “comedic style”.

I’m not sure if you have a “preview” of your book anywhere online, so I can only guess at the “unique take” you mention. However, I wonder if you have considered the comedy book genre? The beauty of that genre is it appeals to men and women across a broad spectrum of society of any age.

The broader the appeal of a book, the more likely a publisher will offer a reasonable deal. From the Australian “perspective”, there are much-loved
writers well-known to UK / US readers. Spike Milligan, Barry Humphries and Clive James spring to mind. These authors all adopt “comedic” styles, although share your sense of irreverent fun and intellectual depth (in my humble opinion).

iPad Revolution:

It’s possible you’re referring to the technological innovation of “ebooks”?
Thank you for doing so, since I agree no author can afford to ignore these kinds of new distribution mechanisms.

I have researched ebooks (which exist in various incarnations) in depth. The popular PDF format appears suited to companies and scientists who wish to distribute manuals and research papers quickly. However, for private authors, PDFs are difficult to protect as encryption can be broken on them with ease, while illegal copies can be circulated across the Net in a blink of an eye.

Steve King (probably one of the cleverest writers still publishing) initiated an e-book project via “Glassbook Software” (similar to Adobe’s PDF Reader). A large fanbase ensured his new ebook “Riding The Bullet” had over 480,000 downloads (for only a small fee charged). Alas, like PDF secure documents, the Glassbook file was illegally decrypted, and King’s “exclusive” ebook title was illegally distributed across the Net.

Having said all this, my research led me to believe that, at the very least, a “promotional opportunity” exists via ebooks for authors with a highly creative and technological outlook to send film companies (or even publishers) animated “previews” of manuscripts that act as a vehicle for a a book/or film rights deal. Again, please email me if you wish for details, since the process is beyond the scope of this feedback.

Kind Regards, nbwriter

  
Quote
  Reply

Originally Posted By nbwriter
I’m not sure if you have a “preview” of your book anywhere online, so I can only guess at the “unique take” you mention. However, I wonder if you have considered the comedy book genre? The beauty of that genre is it appeals to men and women across a broad spectrum of society of any age.

The broader the appeal of a book, the more likely a publisher will offer a reasonable deal. From the Australian “perspective”, there are much-loved
writers well-known to UK / US readers. Spike Milligan, Barry Humphries and Clive James spring to mind. These authors all adopt “comedic” styles, although share your sense of irreverent fun and intellectual depth (in my humble opinion).

I decided to write on the subjects I did because I felt I had something valuable to contribute, not because I thought it might sell (although I do of course have to consider commercial viability). And I have absolutely no idea about how to write comedy – I only know how to do comedic performance.

  
Quote
  Reply

Dear Sachiko,

I appreciate your thoughts…

Comedy is notoriously difficult to write. John Cleese (a member of the highly successful Python Team) once said: “Comedy can only capture a mood, it can’t change anything…”

Here is the dilemma for writers. Do we take a serious tone when exploring weighty topics? Or, do we attempt to engage our audience with comic asides and a light-touch? The problem, to which Cleese alludes, with a comedic tone is that “gravitas” cannot be achieved easily, if at all.

Curiously, the Pythons got into real controversy with their film “Life Of Brian” which attempted to explore the short-comings of religion. Fascinatingly, many audiences (particularly in the U.S.) missed the point that they were not parodying the life of Jesus directly, but someone very ordinary who happened to live in the same time and place.

In fact, the Pythons mentioned: “Jesus didn’t say anything funny…” (This is the point about comedic writing. If one feels the need to make a passionate contribution, possibly comedy is not the best vehicle to do that in the long run. What do you think?

Commercial Viability:

From my dealings with agents and publishers, publishing (even more so today) is a cut-throat business. To illustrate, imagine the costs involved just doing a short print-run of 400 hard-backs. Costs of printer, distributor and promotion all lurk in waiting.

This is why I’m so against inexperienced authors being lured into self-publishing. One is likely to “lose their shirt”unless one is certain of “advance orders”. Only highly established authors receive “advances” in my experience.

Kind Regards, NB.

  
Quote
  Reply