Mr. Book Babe?

Mr. Book Babe?

That might have been my new nickname, had Katie not brought us all to our senses, late one night after finishing up a three-hour-long book club gathering (that I never wanted to end). It was one of the most surreal nights of my life. Imagine walking into a suburban book club named “The Book Babes,” with one dozen women in their custom made “Book Babes” t-shirts, consisting of grandmas, moms, aunts and daughters, listening to a mix of Thrice on Alexa. That alone, in and of itself, was surreal. But what happened once the book club began resulted in an evening I’ll never forget.

We sat down in our circle and got right into it. Once again, the overwhelming response from all the book club members was universal – I loved this book, when’s the next one coming out?

“As soon as I can sell 3,000 units,” I answered with a straight face. “If I can do that, and if people really love my book as much as they say, then I should be able to generate enough noise to get an agent, which would then allow me a legitimate shot of realizing my dream and selling The Gift of Samuel trilogy to a big publisher.”

I gave them all the statistics. Told them that only 1 in 10,000 self-published authors make enough to earn a living, and how only 1 in 100,000 become a household name. Seemingly impossible odds. Yet, the resolve in these women’s faces was inspiring. Instead of consoling me about my doomed fate, they were determined to help me sell 3,000 units; The Gift of Samuel was going to beat the odds if these ladies had anything to say about it.

“You know what, Pauly?” one of the members, Nikki, said to me. “I loved this book so much I’m making Jay (her husband) read it, and I’m making him send it to one of his good friends, John Doe.” Obviously, the good friend’s name isn’t John Doe, but for purposes of this blog, we’ll call him John Doe.

“That’s fantastic! Thank you, Nikki! Who is John Doe?” I asked.

“He was Jay’s college roommate,” Nikki explained. “Today, they are still good friends. John’s super cool and down to earth. John is the literary agent for Jane Doe!”

This is the point where all my senses went numb. Obviously, once again, the author’s name really wasn’t Jane Doe. This author’s name was a household name as this author wrote a major young adult trilogy that became very successful motion pictures. Not only that, but I’ve had several people tell me that The Gift of Samuel reminded them of this specific YA trilogy.

“If Jay asks John to read it, he’ll read it.” Nikki said, without an iota of hesitation.

I instantly thought of the movie Roadrunner, the biography of the late Anthony Bourdain. I had no idea his New York Times bestseller Kitchen Confidential was spawned from an email that he had sent to a friend, detailing Bourdain’s everyday life. Bourdain’s friend happened to be married to a publisher, and when the friend read Bourdain’s email to his wife, she knew Bourdain was a natural author, and the rest is history.

What are the odds that a member of the Book Babes is married to a close friend of a famous literary agent? 1 in 10,000? 1 in 100,000? 1 in 1,000,000? On top of that, what are the odds that this member of the Book Babes liked my book so much that she would do what she did?

When I self-published this book 15 months ago, I told myself that if I could change the life of one person for the better, then I would have achieved my goal. Then, that happened (See and, as a result, my goal changed. If I could change one person’s life for the better, then I want to change multiple lives for the better.

There’s no timetable, and I have no idea when John is going to read my book. But I know he’s going to read it. And if this book is as good as everyone says, then I have to believe that he’ll see the potential for The Gift of Samuel. Even if he can’t pick me up, himself, he’ll know someone in the industry who can, and I’m one step closer to my next goal.

Once the Book Babes and I had devised our master plan, we realized it was time to hit the road as everybody had work the next day. That’s when the ladies suggested that I join their book club and become Mr. Book Babe.

“I don’t think so,” Katie dissented. “I think Paul should concentrate on writing books two and three of The Gift of Samuel!” A unanimous cheer came from the rest of the group.

Since the Book Babes gathering, it’s been difficult for me to contain my excitement. As I work on getting books two and three from my head onto paper, I want to share a link where you can see the outline to the Prologue and Chapter One of Book Two. Because the Book Babes had so many questions about Book Two, I read them this small portion, culminating in a chorus of “ohs” and “ahs.” I hope you share in our anticipation!