Sunday, November 18, 2012

Swan Song Book

A Swan Song Book
The one story
I must write
No one else can

Publishing houses are only interested in books written by thirty years olds who can produce a new title every other year. The name of the author is what sells the book and often appears in larger font on the cover than the book title. Readers shop by authors; they look for a name whose work they have discovered already. Alternately, they pick up a book written by someone whose name is familiar: a movie star, politician, serial killer . . . anything, just so the name has been in print before. “How To” books from non-celebrities may be considered, but that is about all.
That leaves out all those bits of history known as Memoirs. Put together they paint the story, not just of a person or a family, but of an era. And in the case of my one book, Los Desengaños, it describes the end of a way of life and, from a particular point of view, the end of a country.
Since there was no point for an eighty year old unknown like me to even try to approach a publisher or an agent, I did what thousands of other “writers” are doing: I paid to have my book printed. To register my book and acquire an ISBN number from Bowker I had to name a publisher and instead of using my name I invented a publishing company. In a moment, Swan Song Books came into existence.