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Episode 2: How to Land an Agent, and a Book Deal

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PAUL KIX
Hey, this week on the podcast Sonya and I discuss how to get an agent, what to do with that agent during the sort of proposal writing process. And then, how to celebrate with that agent. If you like what you listen to Don't forget to rate and review the podcast. If you want to connect with me the best way to do it is at PaulKixNewsletter.com

I've got a free PDF waiting for you on seven things you can learn right now, from Pulitzer Prize winners to make more money in your own writing. And today we're gonna talk about the writing of the actual proposal, and how your agent can help you so let's get right to it, second season. Now That's a Great Story: The Process.


Episode Two Season Two of Now That’s a Great Story. We're again this year we're going deep on a single subject how to write a book. This season is going to chronicle how I'm writing my current book, and we're going to be answering a lot of questions for anybody who's aspiring to do this and even questions for people who've done it before. This time by popular demand like last episode my wife Sonya joins me. Sonya!

SONYA KIX
Hello!

PAUL KIX
What are you up to?

SONYA KIX
This?

PAUL KIX
That's right! All right. Sin today's episode we're going to cover how to get an agent, and how to keep calm, during that reading process because last time, where we left off. We were discussing what happens after you finished your book proposal and handed it in to the agent. So there's something that happens after that, and it can be. Was it nerve racking for me?

SONYA KIX
Yes. That's an understatement. Yes.

PAUL KIX
Like, how did how did that manifest itself?

SONYA KIX
Through numerous ways. I don't think all of them would be very polite.

PAUL KIX
Well, I mean, this doesn't have to be a polite podcast if you want to go ahead and disclose… some of them you can throw me under the bus.

SONYA KIX
Well, I won't do that but I will say it's a very stressful situation because it's, it's very personal work. You put in a lot of time you put in a lot of effort. And then, you know, both books like it took a while for you to get feedback.

PAUL KIX
Right. Yeah. And we're gonna get to all that, so like let's sort of dive right in. A lot of times people ask me, okay, I want to write a book but do I have to get an agent and the answer is yes. You in almost every circumstance need to get a book agent and that's primarily because the book agent is going to be your bulldog; the book agent is going to be the person who is going to argue on your behalf with the publishing house for which you are about to write a book, and what the agent is doing if he or she is doing his or her job well, is they are basically saying, this guy needs as much money as you guys can offer, and it puts you the author in a somewhat difficult uncompromised situation to be the person that's arguing that so that's why you need a book agent, first and foremost.

But there are many other benefits to having a book agent, and we're going to get to them in just a minute but the first step to how to get them. I kind of feel like, Sonya, there are three ways to how to get a book agent, and I feel like the way that I got my first agent was probably like the luckiest of any way to get it because there's basically, you know, the first thing you can do is you can know somebody who's already an author, and you can ask that person to put in a good word for you, with your agent. Right. The second way to do it is to just read a ton of books in the genre that you want to write. And a lot of times in the back. The author will have this acknowledgments page, and in that acknowledgments page will be like the agent that helped them.

SONYA KIX
But that is not what I did not what you did.

PAUL KIX
I got very lucky. Yes, so what happened was I wrote a story that was literally about shit. It wasn't about these people the scientist in Oregon, who had found a way to figure out how much meth had decimated their communities by going to the sewage treatment plant and looking for the sort of like small little particles of meth, that made it through the body and ended up in the refuse and then ultimately into the sewage treatment plant. So that story within expanded into, like, how much trash actually reveals about the body how much trash reveals about society that story was ultimately published by the Boston Globe. And it was through publishing that that an editor at penguin contacted me one day out of the blue and said hey I saw your essay. I really liked it. Would you ever consider doing it for a book, and the truth was I had been thinking about writing a book, I've been thinking about it for a while I just hadn't thought that maybe that would be the book that I would want to do. So the way that I found an agent was like I was actually approached first by a publishing house and asked if I could find. If I wanted to turn this new book which one is it sure maybe, but then I had to quickly sort of back scramble and figure out well how can how can I find my agent. And that's when I got in touch with friends of friends who've written before, we've written books before, and then that's how I got in touch with my first agent. And the very short version of that story is well Sonya, do you want to tell the very short version of that story. Do you remember it?

SONYA KIX
No, but I do remember it being that were you an interview,

PAUL KIX
So what happened was, there was basically like I had written ended up piecing together this whole chapter by chapter outline and it took three or four months at a time, only to realize like my agent, I found this agent. He then told me. Hey, have you seen this, and what was a, a book that was about to hit the market, literally on like what trash can teach us about society. And it was from a guy who'd won a Pulitzer Prize. And I think like the Orange County Register or something like that.

And so I was like, Oh, well that maybe just extend the metaphor that stinks. Right. And I didn't want to do it had so that pivoted me away from that book that actually turned me toward this and led me to better things but like, that's, you know, that first season was phenomenal.

I would think probably like, if you are somebody who doesn't have a lot of friends who are authors. I really think that just like cold emails to people can be beneficial if you are saying in those emails Hey, I really liked this book and saw that you represented this author, I'm interested in a similar sort of books. Here's some of the ideas that I have. Could I get on the phone with you zoom call with you you know when the pandemic ends could we go have coffee if we're in the same town, whatever the case may be, right. So, that is like the that's how you begin to get up, you just got to be, you just kind of have to kind of be enterprise, and you just have to put your fears. Beside aside you and just figure like I got to figure out a way to do this, I don't remember, was I nervous when I was when I was like reaching out to agents? I don't think I was but…

SONYA KIX
Yes, of course. You don't remember that you were you were very nervous, I mean it's a it's a big decision I think you were also very nervous when you were contemplating switching agent for this
book. Yes, and the first agent was great. He was amazing. He was amazing.

PAUL KIX
He let me say here's something else that you want in any agent right because this is something that you need to think about. You need to think about, okay, how hard will this person fight for me. Right, that's key, but also is this person, somebody who has my best interest at heart, meaning. Like, if that agent is a part of a much larger agency. Will this person, read my stuff or will the agent only be sort of handing my stuff off to other people like I interviewed I do remember this, but before I landed on the first agent. I did talk with a few other different agents. Right.

SONYA KIX
I remember that, and some of them were with big agencies. Yeah, but the one that you went with hands down, I thought was the best. He was the one who really, I think, understood what you were trying to go for with the book, and I think really did a great job in putting you in touch, ultimately, with a house and an editor. That really, really helped you shape that book into something extraordinary.

PAUL KIX
And so this is like science thing on a couple things that are important, right, you want to figure out the person that's right for you. You also want somebody who's going to be somebody who's going to be a great reader of your material somebody who's going to be basically like another editor for it. Right. If that's important to you. If you are a first time author in particular I sort of strongly recommend you find an agent who's going to be doing that for you.

SONYA
I agree with you, but I think, in your case, right, it was… You are a full time-writer. It's what you do. So I think you finding someone who understood how to do that… And I guess it can also apply like if you're, you know if your full-time job is a scientist and you want to write a job, you want to write a book about science to find an agent, that really understands how you think how maybe you would put those words down on paper and understands the market for books right, this is how you think is one thing and that can be very helpful but then how those books, how your ideas themselves can translate into books that will then sell.

PAUL KIX
Right. Exactly. Yeah, after those first four days of emails if you get some people respond, you need to be sort of like thinking through these sorts of questions, thinking through because you have to remember in the end they work for you. Right.

SONYA KIX
Which I think is another point that is really interesting when you decided that it was time to change agents. Your first agent was amazing and he was incredible,

PAUL KIX
But we just basically had like a difference of opinion over where to take the direction of one book, and the upshot of it was that was like it was sort of mutually understood that it might be best if we parted ways. So I have nothing but respect for for him but we sort of mutually agreed that we should move on.

SONYA KIX
And you had an incredible opportunity with your next agent. Yes,

PAUL KIX
So I'm currently represented. I'm currently represented by a guy named David Granger. David's the former editor in chief of Esquire magazine, and he's now doing this for a living, he's now representing offers for living, and David and I have had a great working relationship, so far, like he has actually been for this bok

He was a great read if, okay, I think this will work or I think this won't. He talks a lot about what could sell here. I mean he was once we got to the point where we were discussing the manuscript on the page. His sort of editor instincts took over as much, and they were sort of coupled by that those agent instincts and for me at least for me at least, that is incredibly helpful and I have some author friends who really just want people who are gonna go out and just give them the money. And like that's what they want, they leave the editing, to the actual editors at the house. So it kind of just depends on what you're comfortable with and what you're after because basically there are all sorts of different agents that can serve all of those different roles for you.

SONYA KIX
I know it was incredibly I meaningful for you to have such a, such a tight relationship with your agent I mean not just you in general but I think as much the time and much effort. When you work through a proposal, work with an agent for you to have someone that you felt like was a good fit. You could bounce ideas off of you could talk to and have spending so much time with them with your work, I think, for anyone searching for an agent, when you do decide to have an agent you probably have to pick someone that you feel like you have a good working relationship with who understands you on several different levels and I think Mr. Granger he you know as an editor, I think he understands how you work in a very intimate way.

PAUL KIX
Well, yes, Sonya is still of course there too and you know I think that it's always helpful to have and this is the editor part of my brain right because I split my time between writing and editing. I think it's important to have a few, but vital different points of information about a piece of work. You know I read something fascinating about Philip Roth and I mentioning him being on this podcast, almost means that I'm trying to compare myself to him.

I'm not trying to do that what I'm trying to do instead is to say that he would have, like, he had a group of like six or seven people outside of the publishing house, who would read each book that he was writing and provide feedback on it and he chose these six or seven people deliberately, knowing that each of them would be sort of the best at examining a certain aspect, or a certain tone of one of his novels, as he was writing. I just find that fascinating I think that's like for him that worked. So I think it's, it's again comes back to you, your comfort level, like what you think you want, there's all sorts of agents out there.

Alright so once you get that agent. Then you're going to get to the point where you have finished the manuscript with them. And then you're going to get to the point where right now it needs to go out to publishing houses. Alright so I'm going to walk you through a couple scenarios. What happened to me on both of these books, because they are distinct, but also somewhat representative of what happens for basically anybody in publishing. The first go round the saboteur. I did not know this time, I just thought this was a cool story tale, but turns out that like World War Two, nonfiction is something that cannot exhaust itself as a subject. So there is always there's like a built in audience for that. And that proposal. Went sort of apeshit crazy like we were surprised by the response to that how many different people were keen to talk about that right.

SONYA KIX
Oh yeah. We were very surprised, we…

PAUL KIX
I was thinking like we might have one, two, maybe three people want to be involved and there were seven or eight, and it was so the response was so it's in a way bizarre, because like it was surreal. I had never experienced anything like that, where people were just almost hungry to consume and I'm like I'm a first time author and my agent was like, Look, this doesn't like this does not happen all that often so I think some of that is the strength of Robert story I think that like this agent did a really… he knew how to how sell that to these houses.

SONYA KIX
And I think without him. I think having him as you went through this process, because it was so surreal for us when we didn't really know how to respond to it except show up but he was fantastic.

PAUL KIX
So that happened. And so what the next step was HarperCollins the house with I ultimately went with for that book. They did something called a preamp which is basically meant that they were going to offer make an offer on it before it closed. I hope I'm getting that language right for any agents that might be listening, but basically what happened was we knew that we had at least one offer off the bat.

So, I live in Connecticut. I drove down one day to New York. And it was one of the honestly like one of the greatest days of my life just to meet with all these different publishing houses, because you're going into Random House you're going into penguin you're going into HarperCollins you're going into some of the biggest houses, you know, in the world. And that was the surreal part for me even more than knowing that there is interest because you send it to send the letter you send this proposal out and we got an immediate sort of response to it. Right. And so is so that was really comforting. So, and then to go down and just sort of be in some sense lauded for the proposal.

SONYA KIX
Right, but something that I thought was really interesting about that day was, you know, when you're taking these meetings, you're having these conversations and these editors are really you're talking to these editors about how they would shape the book, how they would I thought, you know as a lay person you kind of walk in and they show you a check and then you just pick. Whoever has the largest paycheck, but it really was, again like picking your agent, it was a situation where I felt like you got to pick which house. You felt more comfortable with and I remember us having conversations about these conversations you were having with these different houses and feeling like you very much had a say in who you wanted to go with who you liked who maybe you didn't feel we're seeing eye to eye with you. Is that,

PAUL KIX
Yeah, that's actually that's really important and I think what you said a minute ago is true. As much as you're choosing an agent, right, as much as you're trying to figure out that agent that aligns with your values, when you are talking with these houses, as much as they are interviewing them. You are interviewing. Excuse me, as much as they are interviewing you, you are interviewing them.

And you need to realize that like you're trying to figure out in this probably most of them are hour long meetings, do we fit, do we click do we see the same thing? The first one was easier, because I knew that there was at least going to be one offer. And so the whole day was just like, Wow, now I'm in Random House and look like those are the books and that there's John Updike's books framed on the walls wow you know like, I mean, that was that was just the part was just like oh my god some of my literary idols, you know, walking the halls where were their books. That was That was incredible, an incredible day, but the main thing of each of those meetings was. Are we clicking or right clicking or we clicking, and then you don't actually discuss money in that meeting like that's the thing that you should probably keep in mind, don't go in there, looking for any sort of handout and I sort of was, I was a bit naive on that and it took. It's actually taken both agents I've had to remind me of that fact because a part of you would have been like, well, how much are you going to offer, like I would kind of want to know that information up front, which is, this is a sort of like the, I think this is almost like the book publishing old genteel code in a way, right, like, let's leave the money until the end. Right.

SONYA KIX
Maybe I think so. More than anything, like we said before it's just giving you a place that you have, you've spent years of your life working on this book and work… but you're working with this house you're working with this editor, and ultimately you're working with, you know, their publicity team or whoever they give off. So it was a it's like a marriage. And you really have to pick you know the right house for you. And that was something that we, I didn't realize, but we ultimately end up having to give a lot of thought to. Oh, and I, I know you were very happy with it I was very happy and they I thought they were fantastic too.

PAUL KIX
Yeah, yeah, they really gave you the space to do what you need to do and I think, you know, each right i think that's an important, important factor in whatever decision you make. So one question that I'd always asked in all of these meetings is, can you tell me a little bit about your editing process, because what I'm trying to understand is very much that I want to know how this editor thinks and how he or she will interact with me. But I also want to know. I want to try to put out of my mind, this sort of nagging question that I have that I've heard about the publishing industry, and you know, we've talked about this before, there are houses that don't spend the sort of time with books that they should editing editing those books and so you want to be with a house that's going to give your book, the sort of care that you think it deserves. And if you start to get a sense that there's a cookie cutter format or there's some sort of, you know, there's some sort of like factory aspect of this, and I had that sense.

I'm not gonna name names but I had that sense with a couple of houses. And it's sort of like, I didn't want to go with it, right, like there's this story. When I was going through this process. The first one, for sure. I kept in the back of my head this story that David Foster Wallace had gone through with one of his first novels. There was a house that offered him more money than little brown, when he met, and he really liked little brown, and he ended up saying that no he turned down more money because he had the sense that like this other place was like a factory, and he didn't want that what he wanted instead was an editor who really cared for him, and somebody who understood him. And so that's what he was after like this this is goes back to like what we were discussing a minute ago. This is as much you questioning them as them questioning you. Alright so that's the first one, we said that we would discuss the nerve wracking nature of the reading process. And so let's talk about what happened during the pandemic. With the second book because there were some nerves they're far more than the first one.
The pandemic changed some stuff.

SONYA KIX
How so?

PAUL KIX
Well, for one like it made it hard, it was the second part we didn't know how to do and we didn't see, we had people interested. But it was overwhelming response that we got the first time. Right. It wasn't like oh my god I can't wait to do this. It was slightly more muted, the initial reads,

SONYA KIX
I think it was, I think, and I think that was tough for you. I think you had such an incredible experience the first time, I think that this monad response, you immediately took it as some form of rejection, because your response wasn't as great as you received for Robert, which was a completely different animal.

PAUL KIX
Yeah, so like this response is just, you send it out the agent sends it out and you begin to hear via email. Who wants to actually sign up from me. And again, we got like, find that was seven or eight people. The first time I met with five or six, the second time. Right. It wasn't like it was, there was no interest, it was just that it was not immediate and now it took a while overwhelming.

SONYA KIX
It's not overwhelming. It took a while, a lot of houses kind of took their time getting back. Mr Granger did a great job again it was credit of lining up houses and people that were really really interested in what you had to say which was great because it's a, it's a, it's a unique book. It has a really unique perspective, and I think finding the right people to understand what you wanted to do was important, and to his credit, I think Mr. Granger did that but….

PAUL KIX
You don't have to call him….

SONYA KIX
I'm gonna call him Mr. Granger.

PAUL KIX
Or you can just call him Granger, I think he prefers. Okay.

SONYA KIX
No, I'm not there yet. So I think that it was just, you know, it was new, because the sub tour went out, you go out and you have all of these meetings and it's basically a parade around these different houses and this experience was much different, but I think for you, because it was so incredibly different I felt like you internalize that and it felt like, even before we got to the meetings, even before you got to the meetings I think you were doubting whether or not this would get picked up at all. Yeah, I remember very clearly you're not anticipating getting a lot of meetings. You thought well maybe I'll get one. Maybe I'll get to that I remember you had maybe four or five, and you know we were all, we were all like, you know, we were really excited about that. It was just a different, it was a different child, you know like the first book came out and was running right away and I feel like this one. There had to be a lot of hold hand holding to get it to the place where you know you get in front of people and it was a it was a challenge…

PAUL KIX
And it's a little bit like I attribute that to a couple of things. Number one is the pandemic so I think in some ways it's houses trying to make sense for, like, Alright, what are we spending money on in this in this day and age so I will say that houses have continued to spend money so I don't know that that's necessarily…. I think some of it as well, just goes back to sort of genre right like this… this book will be a blend of my own story.

And what I see as the most pivotal 10 week period in the civil rights movement, which is in despite the 50 years worth of books on the civil rights movement I think I have a story that actually has not been told. I think that there is, I think there's a great story to do here on the, on the Birmingham campaign and, and we'll be discussing that of course in much greater detail in subsequent episodes but, but I think like just that blend of memoir, and history tight focused history. Maybe it turned people off, I don't know, like maybe like I thought I actually wrote a stronger proposal this time than last time, but maybe it just didn't grab people right and you just don't know and that's the nerve wracking part happens that's, yeah. And I it's only been a few months ago, and maybe like this is why I love to have you on because I don't. I've been. Maybe I've blocked some of this stuff out but you did. I How bad was I?

SONYA KIX
You were bad. I mean you have a lot of, you had a lot of self doubt you you know you want those big meetings you want people to be responsive to your work you want that kind of validation that the amount of time that you've put in that this idea is solid. And you didn't get that right away. And that was really tough, you know, waiting for people to make meetings, I think you know Mr Granger given….

PAUL KIX
He's gonna think this is so funny when he listens to this to Mr Granger,

SONYA KIX
Mr Granger, I mean, I'm respectful I don't know about you.

PAUL KIX
Go on, I'm

respectful. But I think, you know, I think he had people wanted to read, I remember I remember very vividly, a lot of people wanted to read it. And he had given them a deadline, and we were really excited thinking that these people that were reading it these editors don't want to read it. We're going to make appointments and wanted to meet you, and nothing happened right away. Yeah, I remember that it was like a wall crumbling.

SONYA KIX
Yeah, you felt defeated. But I don't necessarily think this is something that is wholly due to the book. I mean that's your personality as well as a, as a writer, that's how you are when you turn something in. If an editor doesn't respond to you right away. You're like, what's wrong? What is wrong with this piece? Did not work? You know, there's been lots of times where you've turned in work and editors for whatever reason haven't gotten back to you right away. It goes into that self of place of self doubt. What if this isn't right. What if I should plan this or that, then I think that happened with this proposal too and and the first one, when you turn that in.

PAUL KIX
I remember the first one being very nervous like, what would the response be, and I was just so elated it was over.

SONYA KIX
Well this is you know another reason why I'm glad that you worked with Mr Granger is because he understood what you were trying to do but he also appreciated your writing. And these are things that you know I try and tell you like your work speaks for itself work is very good, like the right person will come along and understand what you're trying to do, like you have a very clear vision you're very clear focus. It’s not like you’re an inexperienced writer who needs to be shaped, you have a very clear voice, and finding someone who appreciatea that voice and understands it and works with it and nurtures it within a house is what you ultimately found. But it took a while,

PAUL KIX
So the last move ahead to the actual meetings themselves this time. I have no idea how much longer the pandemics going to last. If it does, you're gonna probably do meetings, the way that I did them, which is you do them over zoom. And it's not terrible, right, like, it's not great. I prefer the face to face interaction, but you do, you do get the time with the editor you do get to ask them the questions, it's this there was the same sort of rules that apply. I wanted to hear what they liked about the book, I wanted to hear what they didn't like about the book I want to hear what they what they didn't like about the proposal I wanted to hear what they liked about the proposal. I wanted to hear how they would shape, the proposal into a book, I had my own questions about working with them, just sort of back and forth, back and forth, back and forth,

SONYA KIX
What I also remember that was important about those meetings, is that, you know, I would peek in, in between meetings and ask you how it would go and you would say this meeting was incredible and this editor I loved and I thought they were amazing I thought we'd do great things. And then they wouldn't make an offer.

PAUL KIX
Yes. So that's the sort of final step and this is the thing that like, when does the money actually come into play with both of these books. The similarity was you finish the meetings, and then it's a really nerve wracking part, because both agents I've had have then set a second deadline, right. All right, here's the date by which you need to make an offer.

And again, first time we knew we had at least one offer so I was cool. Second time. We had no idea we had no idea. And I'll say this: the Saboteur was a best seller on Amazon, right it was number one on a couple of history list and what not when it came out so it did decently. It did not crack the New York Times bestseller list, and

SONYA KIX
Not yet!

PAUL KIX
Not yet. And so part of that was like, oh, our house is gonna stay away because they saw that the first book was not in the know there was not a New York Times bestseller. You never know. And I've heard when we you hear like so few books actually do make that list so, and in Granger was great about like saying hey you just write the book that you can and let everything else take care of it which…
… because as soon as you try to write the book that'll sell then you're actually not staying true to your vision, it's so the whole thing is you want to avoid, like maybe that can actually be a whole like separate episode down the road.

SONYA KIX
I think so, I mean I definitely, This wasn't your first idea for your second book.

PAUL KIX
Yeah, so maybe, maybe we can but the point is that it's like, Alright, we in that moment,
after, after we finished the meeting but before the date. It's just sort of like, and then the day itself. It was a Wednesday I remember that, and the deadline was 3pm. And I do what I do when I get really nervous. I just bury myself in work. I just that day, I think I started working.

SONYA KIX
I was gonna say eat.

PAUL KIX
Also not untrue. I remember getting up that day and starting working like 6am and worked all day and just being like, I'm just going to do everything possible to occupy my time until 2:30. Right. And then I got the call from Granger. And I'm going to leave the offers out, because I don't want to do that to the houses but we had a few different offers, and very different offer offers Yes, very different. I'm not going

Say figures but I will say they were very different offers and also different interpretations of what they wanted the book to be yeah so your shoes really interesting. Yes, because you're choosing like some people just wanted to history because like I don't, you can write about your own story in op eds or essays. And we went with a house we went with celadon which is a Macmillan imprint. And we went with him for the money yes but we also went with him because celadon his vision most closely aligned with what I was hoping the book can do.

But here's something else that I think is really important to mention, money, of course, is nice, it's not the end all be all but we really had to consider an offer that would pay you enough to be able to do
this book that is key, and in both of these proposals both of the agents have told me. You have to think, don't think that you're being greedy when you take, if you go for the most money don't think you're being greedy for taking the most money think instead about this case how much resources. I will have to actually do the sort of research and reporting that I need to do for the first book I needed a lot of resources because it was international travel, right. And for the second book resources wise I don't think I need as much, but you still want to get like enough where you're not having to think about, can I even do the work I need to do to make this book as good as possible. Or am I going to put myself my family whatever in some sort of financial peril for trying to do this, do this, do this, this work?

SONYA KIX
And it is hard, I mean you really have we had to sit down. And of course, because it was your second book and it's domestic, we had, I would say, a very good idea of the kind of work that it would take to kind of travel, it would take, but also you know you can never account for things maybe you discover something and you have to take a trip so I mean, there's just a lot of things that are variables that we can't pin down and you just cannot. I mean we knew there was a number that you just could not do this book on. I mean, you just couldn't do it. It wouldn't work for our family, and that's you know like I that's a tough thing.

PAUL KIX
Yeah and I could cite numbers but they really are not going to be that helpful because each number is just completely arbitrary it's what you think your book needs, how many resources you need to do it. And really like you're only going to see the thing that's kind of terrifying. You're only going to figure that out once you actually get into it. I think that it took almost the whole of the first book because you said something that I that we found repeatedly in the first book, we would we would map out we would plan we would budget and then it would be like, Well, I have to do like they just flat out had to do this right spend this grand on this sort of research spend $1,000 get access to this freelancer.

There were just so many there were just so many costs, It is like, I have to spend. If I don't spend this I simply cannot do the book that I want to do.

SONYA KIX
Right. And so really understanding, I think as a family, you know if you're if you're married your spouse husband or wife. You or your partner you have to really sit down and say, you know, will I be able to do this. How many years are we looking at? How much money will I be able to spend each year? And that was something I remember you got an offer we were like you cannot do this, you cannot take this offer. And that was a hard conversation because it was, do you write this book, or, you know, and risk us going into some sort of financial debt, you know to pay for this book, and then just relying on us? it was it's a tough thing but you really have to give some thought to it.

PAUL KIX
Yeah. So, you know, I ended up sort of finished to round this out. I say to Granger, let's do the deal with Celadon.

SONYA KIX
We do it.

PAUL KIX
I call the, the editor there. Her name is Jamie, she's fantastic had a great meeting with her completely clicked. And I'm excited. Right, I'm excited. And so the final thing I would say is like, ake some time to reflect what you just did. Right, like we set a time. It was tough in the pandemic because all we could really do was just like, take out, but we had a meal. It was just us. No kids.

And it was special. And we did something similar with the Saboteur right because yeah this is to get a deal like that that is no small thing

SONYA KIX
To get a deal is no small… I mean it's a ton of work. It isn't a ton of work and if you have a full time job, you know, at some point, I think, you know, I think maybe even an episode like how you did that, and managed to work and write this proposal.

PAUL KIX
The next few episodes we can really dig into like next time I want to talk about how not to start your research because I think there are some clues. There's some things that we did wrong with the first book. Yeah, that can be really instructive. But I also You're right, like, I want to spend some time with us talking about, like, how to manage, having another gig while you do this, how I manage it because I do get a lot of questions from readers, or you know people that subscribe to my newsletter that are just like I would have to quit my job and the answer is no, you don't,

SONYA KIX
If you have an amazing wife like you do…

PAUL KIX
You need a supporting partner you really Yes, you really do. But the answer is you do not need to quit, you just have to be super disciplined about your time,

SONYA KIX
Which is really tough to do,

PAUL KIX
Which is. Yeah,

SONYA KIX
We can talk about that we can, I can certainly add input to that.

PAUL KIX
All right. Well, I think that's pretty good place to stop me too. All right. Now that's great story. the music for it comes from one Jeffrey Willett temporary limit, sometimes, sometimes the production helps will come from him as well although he's kind of outgrown us. I hope not. Yeah, we'll have to see if you like what you're hearing, head over to pocketnow.com backslash newsletter sign up for my newsletter there every week I choose stories that I like every week, I talk about more craft stuff than we do here, that's not just based on writing books but about sort of the whole genre of long form writing. So PaulKix.com/Newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter. You know I guess we'll see, I think Sonya, the audience likes what they hear,

SONYA KIX
Darn right. You're pretty much a big deal.

PAUL KIX
Thanks everybody. We'll be back next week. Hey thanks for listening. If you liked this season of Now That's a Great Story, or just getting caught up on the first, the best way to keep in touch, is to to newsletter, PaulKixNewsletter.com. There, you'll get even more advice on how to be the best writer and storyteller, you can be. In fact, right now, I've got a free PDF for you. The seven rules top long for writers to follow to make more money from their stories, sign up for the newsletter, and you'll get the free PDF head there now. PaulKixNewsletter.com.