Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fuck you I won't do what you tell me

I stopped listening to the Bruce Springsteen channel on my XM radio.

I decided I'd had enough. I heard every damn concert. Listened to every cover version. And got tired of  the story about his father in the kitchen, smoking a cigarette, drinking a beer and complaining about that damn guitar.

I love the Boss as much as any Garden Stater.
Or, in my case as a hometown boy of Suffern, NY, being on the border, a near Garden Stater.

So last week I went hunting and came across a song by Rage Against the Machine, ironically, one of Springsteen's favorite bands. The song, Killing in the Name features what is perhaps the greatest chorus in the history of rock n' roll:

Fuck you I won't do what you tell me.

Repeated not once, but 16 times.
I probably would have gone for 17, but that's because I'm partial to the number.

The song resonated because I currently find myself raging against the machine.

You see I have a first draft of my book ready and I am currently seeking literary representation. You'd think because I have a book under my belt, a few years in the ad business, a couple of IMDB credits, close to 50 pieces in the Huffington Post and a loyal following of nearly a dozen readers right here at RoundSeventeen, that I'd have no problem finding an agent who could put me in front of a publishing house.

But you'd be wrong.

The publishing game and its promise of hundreds of dollars in profit is a tricky one to navigate.

Potential agents want formalized query letters, a business plan and a complete analysis of the market before they'll even lay eyes on a sample chapter.

And then, after they have agreed to grace you with their esteemed representation they have a whole new set of requests before they will submit the work to a publisher. It could take a year before my book is casually ignored on the dusty liquidation shelf of the local downsized Barnes & Noble.

Oh sure there's the thin veneer of validation, the poorly-attended book signings and the half-hearted promotional materials one can only get from an established book publisher. But I'm 44 years old, have sold ideas to Fortune 100 companies and have built a semi-successful career on the haphazard stitching together of words, cheap sloganeering and this imaginary skill called copywriting.

I don't need their stamp of approval.
Or their notes.
Or their tweaks.
Or their "suggestions".

Thank you, self-publishing services of

As for the machine,

Fuck you I won't do what you tell me!


Jared Mazzaschi said...

I would have been so upset if your logic had concluded any other way. I can't wait to use US currency to procure my very own copy of your self-published book!

Anonymous said...

I just started reading a recent book by a noted ad person and was too distracted by typos and overwriting to read more than a few pages at a time. Many of the 19th-Century greats self-published. But there's no reason to skimp on proofers/editors!