On February 29, 1992, I woke up in my New York hotel room scared to death. I was about to teach Making a Living Without a Job to 125 students at the Learning Annex. Although I’d taught the class dozens of times before and had done so on three previous occasions in NYC, this was different. Two publishers were sending editors to watch me in action. I was auditioning and I was a nervous wreck. Since I hadn’t met either of those editors, I wouldn’t be able to pick them out of the crowd. My trembling self caught a cab and took a deep breath. I reminded myself that all I could do was give it my best shot.
Fortunately, I had help. I am quite certain that the Universe handpicked my audience that day. They were amazing. Not only did everyone listen intently and take copious notes, they asked wonderful questions. I wasn’t the only one to notice that.
At the break, a woman came up and introduced herself, told me she was from one of the publishing houses and said she was loving the class. After she left, another woman introduced herself. Her name was Leslie Meredith and she was the editor from Bantam. The rest of the class is a blur.
To my astonishment, the following Tuesday I received calls and offers from both publishers. I hadn’t considered that I might have to choose and it threw me into a small tizzy. I decided to create a list of questions to ask each editor and see if that made my choice clearer. I called them both on Thursday and as soon as I’d finished, knew that Bantam was the right publisher for me.
Later that day, I called both editors to give them my decision. The losing editor was downright nasty, which took me by surprise, but also reinforced my decision. I called Leslie to tell her that I wanted to work with them and she hollered to a co-worker, “Matthew, we got the Barbara Winter book?”
”The Barbara Winter book?” I thought. I liked the sound of that.
There’s a lot more to this story, of course. There’s the back story about how I spent several years building a base, generating publicity and creating a seminar series that was among the most popular in adult ed programs throughout the country. I did all that before committing to writing a book. I knew that first time authors can have a long wait until publication. My plan–which worked better than I’d expected–was to have a publisher find me, instead of me seeking them.
Then there are all the doors that have opened because of the book. I’ve heard from people all over the world who are enjoying their new lives as inspired, creative entrepreneurs. That’s an incredibly humbling experience for an author.
When I was writing the book, I had a different subtitle that had the word “nineties” in it. Leslie suggested I change that. “This book is going to have a long shelf life,” she predicted. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would still be in print 16 years later!
This time around, I had a new editor, the delightful Angela Polidoro. Here’s a glimpse of some of the changes you’ll find in the spiffy new edition of
Making a Living Without a Job:
- How to find opportunity in a chaotic economy
- Why smart, small, and spunky is the 21st-century business model
- Using the internet and social networking to open the door to fresh opportunities
- The best resources to help you create and grow a business that is uniquely your own
- How to leave “Employee Thinking” behind and build an “Entrepreneur’s Mindset”
As I write in the introduction, “Despite the fact that change is often unsettling, these are exciting times, for those who are paying attention…In an economic climate that teeters on uncertainty, thoughtful people are seeking fresh options—options that honor their creativity, add meaning and purpose to their lives, and allow them to go as far as their imaginations permit.” And as my publicist wrote, “This is the book that can help you get started, and the timing couldn’t be better—so get ready to let your imagination soar.”
If you want to know more about
A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Published, join me for my upcoming teleclass on Wednesday, August 26. Can’t attend in person? You can still sign up and receive the audio download.