May 22, 2013

Paul Alan Fahey on The Other Man

The Other Man by Paul Alan Fahey is now available in e-book format!

The road to finding the right publisher for your literary labor of love can be a rocky one; this was definitely the case with The Other Man: 21 Writers Speak Candidly about Sex, Love, Infidelity, & Moving On. Most editors and writers will tell you that having an agent, a solid book proposal and a great list of contributors are definite assets, but they don't necessarily guarantee publication.

What I've learned is this: Unless you are a well-known commodity as a writer/editor, have edited numerous best selling collections, and have had previous books featured in major book clubs along with great sales, there are too many other variables in the marketing process that conflict with automatic success. This is not to say it can't happen to someone like me: an unknown someone with a list of decent publication credits, professional contacts and an excellent agent. Against all odds -- cue the Phil Collins movie soundtrack -- The Other Man became a reality. It's true, and I have a copy of the book sitting on a shelf by my computer to prove it. It just took a lot of patience, time and a tremendous amount of luck to make it happen.

The Other Man's journey from proposal to print took almost three years. My writer friends tell me this was fast. Really?

Here's what happened:

By late fall, 2010, I had what everyone considered an excellent book proposal, the go ahead to write the gay companion to The Other Woman -- a huge national best seller -- from that anthology's editor, Victoria Zackheim, and by early 2011, a terrific agent in my corner. My agent sent the proposal out to LGBT publishers. Some responded. Many didn't. In summer, 2011, given the feedback my agent received, I revamped the proposal and wrote a new introduction, asked contributors for samples of their essays, etc. My agent sent out the second proposal. We waited.

In late 2011, The Other Man got a bite from a respected LGBT publisher. The editors were split down the middle. Half loved the proposal, half didn't. We were down to the wire. Our emails crisscrossed cyberspace for several weeks. I asked a few of my contributors to send me more essays for the editors to review; my guys were terrific and sent me their work. Then a week or so later, the final decision not to publish arrived in my inbox, along with a comment from one of the editors -- I'm paraphrasing here -- "Why would gay men be interested in reading about infidelity?" Hmm.

In early 2012, on my own and without my agent's involvement -- she doesn't handle short works -- I published a novella, The View From 16 Podwale Street, with JMS Books. At some point, I told my publisher, J.M. Snyder, about the proposed anthology and she wrote back saying she was interested. I was thrilled. The anthology was going to be a reality. Things were finally looking up for The Other Man. But then came another unanticipated problem: Several contributors, thinking the book wasn't happening, had dropped out and had gone on to other projects. It was then back to the drawing board and another search for well-respected, high quality writers to complete the contributor list.

In short, The Other Man, my three-year labor of love, is out today as an e book from JMS Books, with a print version to follow on May 31. How did I get so lucky? And the best part of the bargain is this: A portion of the proceeds from all sales will go to a charity near to all of our hearts, the It Gets Better Project. A win-win situation for everyone. Yes, it can happen. And it finally did.

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

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