The Grand Experiment

I’ve started this blog so that it will be easier to give updates on the progress being made in our quest for publication. And also so I can hear back directly from everyone on specific issues as I post about them.

1. As many of you may have gathered by now, I’ve found the great majority of potential readers through reviews posted on Amazon. I bring this up only because I didn’t want it to seem like there are just mass mailings going out indiscriminately. That is not the case. I targeted only reviewers who have read and evaluated books that I myself appreciate. I feel that these reviewers would be the best candidates for appreciating my book, for obvious reasons. If the emails I sent out seem impersonal, I’m sorry. Yes, much of what is in each email is pre-scripted so that I don’t have to keep typing the same thing over and over. But there’s really no other way. For every 100 or so reviewers I try to contact, only five or ten respond. But every single person that writes me at my email address gets a direct, personal response from me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Several of you have even exchanged lengthy, numerous emails with me, discussing everything from the plight of the unpublished author to the craft of writing to the art of persuasion. Point is, I’m trying to reach as many readers as possible, in the belief that there truly is power in numbers. My personal goal is to get 500 people in the guestbook saying that they’d like to read more of FUTUREPROOF. I feel that that number is a pretty solid guarantee to grab any potential agents’/publishers’ eyes. And we’re getting there, pretty quickly, I might add. But I hate waiting as much as the next guy (my Achilles’ heel is most definitely lack of patience), and so I’m hereby formally asking you guys to tell your friends about the book and the site.

2. After we get the FUTUREPROOF 500 together (FELLOWSHIP OF THE FUTUREPROOF?), I’d like to repay everyone who has signed on at this early stage. When the book is published, I plan on including each and every one of the original 500 supporters’ names in the acknowledgements of the book. This might take a few pages to do, but I think this is the least I can do to repay the good faith a generosity of time that everyone has shown thus far. Maybe, if the deal is right, I’ll be able to give the FP 500 a completely free signed copy off the original print run. I’ve also thought of possibly creating a specific mailing list, so that when I (hopefully) get a little success with FUTUREPROOF, I will be able to finance small print runs of stories and the like that will be sent exclusively to you early supporters. If that sounds pompous and pretentious—then shoot me. I’m a writer, for god’s sake. These are the kinds of fantasies writers harbor. So while I might be getting ahead of myself, I say fuck it. This entire enterprise is based on an idea that could just as easily have fallen on its face as turned into what it has. In fact, before I tried emailing potential readers directly, I had 2,000 fliers printed up that were strategically placed in book and record shops around the country. The reaction was…non-existent. Money down the drain. This was back in February or March. The fliers didn’t work to bring people in. I was at my wits’ end. In fact, I was ready to just throw the book in a drawer and leave it to rot. But mysterious shit happens sometimes that seems almost fateful, and suddenly a whole new realm of possibilities is opened up before you. And that’s where we are now. The emailing of reviewers is turning up some great people, people who I hope to one day meet and talk with in person. YOU guys. I mean, shit, without you there would be no way for this thing to even have a prayer of getting off the ground. I’m very thankful for all of you. So please, if you haven’t left a comment in the guestbook as of yet, do so. And when you do, leave an email address so I can contact you at some point and get correct spellings and locations down and all of that. If you’ve already left a comment but didn’t include your location or email address, send it to me: nfrankdaniels AT hotmail DOT com. I am not going to be satisfied unless I have every one of your names (or aliases) in the acknowledgements of FUTUREPROOF.

3. I wanted to address the ending of the book—or rather, the rest of it. Some of the comments in the guestbook have made me want to pull my hair out. I cannot STAND having people question whether this or that is going to happen, to have a possibly negative judgment passed on an incomplete work. But I really have no other options. I think I’m probably pushing the limits already having as much of the book posted as I do. Fact is, nobody’s going to want to publish a book that’s already been completely revealed to the public. That sucks, but that’s how it is. If you’d like me to tell you what happens, drop me an email and I will, though I think that sucks to just be given a summary rather than actually reading it. SPOILER ALERT: Bruce Willis is dead the whole time in The Sixth Sense! The chick in The Crying Game is really a dude! You get the point. Anyway, suffice it to say that the book is not all gloom and doom as some have hypothesized. There IS some light at the end of the tunnel (and elsewhere throughout).

4. I’m hoping that this blog will turn out to be a good forum for questions, discussions of a literary/cultural nature, possibly even a thought or two about this approach to getting published. I’m sure I’m not the first who has tried it. Or maybe I am. Point is, I feel like this is a great way to bring a book to people and I hope I’m not the last to do it. Because if you think about it, every single thing you see in the bookstores for the most part was picked from literally tens of thousands of hopefuls by a very small group of people. Maybe now, if more writers start trying to go after individual readers as opposed to throwing themselves on the mercies of agents and publishing houses, then more books that we all want to read will make it to the bookstores. Or maybe I’m just lost in a grandiose world of make-believe. We shall see.

5. Next week I begin seeking out agents again in earnest. I’ll keep everyone abreast of the developments as they happen. Thanks again for all the support. Talk soon. ~NFD

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