Publishing Business Is a Very Dirty Business Nowadays

He drinks a coffee and asks, “Have you ever attended any writers’ lectures about how to publish and market a book?”

“Nope. I’ve never attended any lectures. Besides, I’m not interested in such a business lecture.”

“Shogo, I guess you’re very naïve,” he says considerably, “you have to understand that publishing business is a very dirty business nowadays. I know about it, for I’ve been attending a number of writers’ lectures, and all of them said the same thing. Let me enlighten you the reality. When you find a publisher, they give you a contract to read which is extremely complicated. Thus, you need to hire a lawyer to read them so that you won’t be deceived. Otherwise, you’ll be messed up; they’ll take every advantage to deceive you to make benefits.”

I frown and respond, “I guess you exaggerate the condition of publishing business too much. Of course, you’re right about me; I don’t know anything about it. However, I don’t believe that every publisher is dishonest, as you described. If every publisher has evil intentions, how can I find a right publisher?”

“That’s why you need a literary agent, Shogo. They know about book business all of the ‘ins and outs.’ They’ll help you to read a contract and find a suitable publisher for you. As a result, it’ll be better for you to start finding an ardent literary agent as soon as possible.”

“Thanks for the tip, but I still think that it’s early for me to worry about publishers, because I haven’t completed the book yet. Many thanks for your concern though.”

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It’s Difficult for Writers to Publish a Book Nowadays

As soon as I approach his table, he offers me the chair to sit down by saying, “How are you, Shogo? How is your book going on?”

I reply delightedly, “I’ve been better than ever! I’ll finish writing my first book soon – actually, it’s a matter of time now.”

“It’s great news; I’m glad to hear that. However, have you ever researched publishers or literary agencies? I’ve already told you many times that it’s difficult for writers to publish a book nowadays. And I prudently suggest that you should find a good literary agency to represent your book for your own good. It’s apparently not easy for you to find it; it will indeed consume a lot of your time to research them though. Shogo, as I’ve already explained you, writing books and finding publishers are totally different things.”

“Thanks for the advice, Majid. I understand your point, but I’m not going to start looking for publishers till I complete writing my book. I think I shouldn’t attempt to do two different things at the same time. For that reason, I would rather concentrate my whole energy on writing the book first. And then I’ll try to find a publisher or literary agency, as you suggested,” I reply earnestly.

 

As If I Were a Native Mexican Brother

Today it is a Fifth of April, and I am walking on streets of Condesa in full sunshine. Today walking on my way to Starbucks in the sun, tremendous joy is shooting through my whole being, for I am aware that I am going to complete writing my first book soon. “No more job! I’ll never work with mean Japanese bastards! That kind of meaningless life is finished in me!” I am exuberantly shouting at the top of my lungs.

As I enter Starbucks, everyone is greeting me and offering handshakes, as if I were a native Mexican brother. I am grabbing my coffee and about to look for a table; someone calls to me to join his table – it is Majid.

Majid is Malaysian and a yoga instructor. I met him two months ago at the same Starbucks. He asked me what I was doing in Mexico and told him that I have been writing a book. And to my great surprise, he told me that he is a writer and has been writing books, too. He quit his job as a pilot two years ago and decided to start doing what he truly wants to do for the rest of his life. He has been in Mexico for eleven months already. He has been writing three books at the same time, but none of them are completed. Now instead of writing his books, he always posts articles on his blog.

Let’s go to Roppongi!

Then a disturbed face emerged to a roar of delight from the assembled throng. It was Jorgito. As soon as his piercing eyes located on me, he interrogated with a straight face, “Amigo, please tell me the truth. Why stupid Leticia dressed up tonight?”

“Just because I told her that we would go to a night club after the midnight,” I was perplexed.

“Idiot! Why did you tell her about the night adventure?”

“She’s kept asking me to take her to a night club, so I simply let her know we’re going tonight.”

“No, no, no, amigo, you made a stupid mistake,” he was shaking his head disapprovingly and went on, “you don’t know anything about Leticia. She’ll destroy our night adventure. She is a goddamn selfish vagina. If she doesn’t like a place, she’ll pretend to be tired and ask us to go home. The upshot is that she’ll forever ask us to dance with her. If she comes along with us, I can’t talk to pretty vaginas who I intend to meet and make out with tonight. No, amigo, this is your fucking fault. You must tell her that we’ve changed our plan and felt too exhausted, so we can’t go out tonight.”

Here Gerardo broke in with a downbeat objection, “Son of bitch, did you invite the spoiled vagina? Jorge is right; you must tell her that we’ve changed our plan. I refuse to be jeopardized our night adventure. Look, Shogo, she always wants to have all attention to her, you know, so if she comes with us, we’ll be constantly forced to talk with her and take care of her. Furthermore, when she doesn’t enjoy a place, and nobody gives any shit to her, she’ll threaten us to take her back to the hotel. I’m telling you this from my experiences. I’ve witnessed her annoying selfish-acts so many times. No, man, we can’t take her with us. Trust me, my friend, she’ll ruin our happy night adventure. At any rate, you must ditch her, so that we can accomplish our night business.”

Consequently, I made a lame excuse to their parents and Leticia and took them to Seibu-Shinjuku Station. As we arrived at the station and said good-bye to them, Leticia was yelling at the top of her voice, “Shogo, you are a big lair!”

I felt a wee bit sorry for her. However, I just did what I must have done for the sake of our night undertaking and was glad that I ditched her successfully. Gerardo and Jorgito were over the moon about getting rid of her beautifully and shouted enthusiastically, “Let’s go to Roppongi!”

I Need A New Idea, But Not This Bull-Shit Movement.

Gerardo wanted to spend the coming New Year in Sibuya, so we said good-bye to Odaiba and left with ebullience. As we arrived at Hachiko Square, a great number of people were waiting for celebrating on coming New Year. The whole place was literally packed with excited mobs, and we were not able to march on freely. The police was announcing, “Tonight there will be no ceremony and no exhibition on the digital screen, so just leave the place.”

Gerardo, Jorgito, their parents, and Leticia were too excited about the anticipation for spending the moment of coming New Year in Japan. When the clock struck on twelve sharp, everyone was jumping around, hugging each other, and shouting, “Happy New Year” to each other. Only Leticia was capering around under the Japanese winter sky, like a blissful female ass.

To our great astonishment, a group of intoxicated Japanese were waving a cardboard that was written, “Free Hug.” And it must have offended Gerardo’s eyes, since as soon as he saw the sign, he uttered in an irritated voice, “I hate the stupid free hug movement. Shogo, do you know that this idiotic movement has started from England? Even Japanese are shouting, ‘Free Hug!’ Oh, come on, I need a new idea, but not this bull-shit movement. I’m bored to death by the lack of imagination. I’m wondering whether a group of oddballs are bold enough to start a totally unprecedented movement someday, you know, thoroughly original and unique. Let’s say, ‘Free Bang.’ Please surprise me, Gerardo Veloz!”