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Author of The Pornographer's Daughter providing commentary on pornography, life and much more.

Filtering by Tag: pop culture

What Survivor Taught Me About Publishing

Kristin Battista-Frazee

  I'm a pop culture junkie and love the reality show Survivor. The social game theory that plays out week after week with starving contestants in unusual locations is fascinating to me. The blend of personalities, ambition and push-to-the-limit qualities I think is a blueprint for many work and personal situations and indicative to publishing and writing my family memoir. Here’s what I mean:

The sandy beaches and clear blue water seen in Survivor locations look like paradise but is not. What truly awaits people in this blissful setting are days exposed to the elements, crippling self-doubt, fear of rejection by your fellow tribe members and confusion about who you can REALLY trust. It sounds great to say, “I’m writing a book” but you will face many of the same things Survivor’s contestants contend with especially the rejection and self-doubt. How you overcome these obstacles will determine your success in the publishing game. And when millions of hours have been invested in your book project you’ll do any amount of scrambling, editing, and bargaining to not get your project voted off the island.

Going to Exile Island to write your book in isolation is never a good idea. While you’re gone you’ll miss out on opportunities to sharpen your game strategy and to figure out how the ground is shifting beneath you. That’s why writing groups, workshops, networking opportunities and research are all important to making your book a reality.

Striking a balance between learning how to be self-sufficient and build a fire and forging key alliances are essential to your survival in the game. You need to query lots of agents before you find the right one and build good working relationships to reach your ultimate goal of a million dollars and the title of “sole survivor” or in my case a book deal. Fire is life in this game too, so learn how to make fire. You need that passion and the ability to boil water and stay warm to sustain you over the long haul. Writing a book takes a long time.

No matter how hungry you get on the island or in writing your book you don’t need to eat nasty bugs, rats, sea slugs or whatever else has protein.  You can make irrational decisions when you’re hungry because you think your going to die of starvation if you don’t get an agent or publisher. If you sign with a bad agent or don’t get a fair publishing deal all of your hard work could be lost. Just wait until the next reward challenge, a better deal is right around the corner if you can be patient and think carefully before you make decisions.

“The Tribe Has Spoken” is never truly the last word in your ultimate fate, future or success of your book project. Just because a group of people, agents or publishers think your project isn’t good doesn’t mean its not. You can count on showing up on the jury or becoming the most popular Survivor contestant to never win the game and parlay your exposure into a grand career.  The publishing biz is subjective, have faith and you will publish.

Never give up on finding the hidden immunity idol or all the tools you’ll need to write your book. And once you find the idol certainly don’t give it away, use it strategically to get further in the game.

So for me the key to getting published— Outwit, Outplay and Outlast.

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