Starsky + Cox are best known for writing books I guess. And yet it’s been a while since we’ve done so, but for our yearly Haute Astrology weekly horoscope books. Publishing has always been such an uphill battle. Editors at publishing houses I find are not on the whole very happy people. And most agents lie for a living. It can be a lose lose for anyone in any profession who has an agent unless you’re a super star because the agent’s relationships to the publishers, in this case tend to be more important than the agent’s relationships to the author, despite the fact the agent makes money off the author. It’s just that an agent needs publishers in their lives to sell books by an author who is typically, to their mind, a dime a dozen. There are rare instances where agents actually have blood running in their veins that wasn’t sucked out of other people’s, but on the whole they are leeches. Especially at the big agencies, which is why we dumped ours at WME about seven years ago after writing our second book and being lied to by our “team” of agents who, at that agency in particular, are completely devoid of souls.
And yet a writer would like to write books and have them published. Happily our writing is based on a practice that we can perform every day in person (or on Skype) with real people, and we are fortunate that we have an outlet for our thoughts and feelings on the subject with which we have become synonomous and that we actually make a difference in people’s lives, one divine soul at a time. And there are myriad other spokes to our brand, thank Goddess.Yet there is always that gnawing feeling to write another book in which to represent the evolution of our thoughts since last we published a weighty tome. So, starting New Year’s Day this year I sat down to write a book proposal, drawing on notes we’d been making over the years, and I completed it in a matter of days. And then what? I thought. I guess I have to “find an agent”, a notion that was most repellent.
In the meantime, I could hand the book to a couple of key friends in the business to get their feedback. I reached out. Crickets. I reached back out. And received some vague though helpful responses. Oh well. The truth became clear: I don’t feel like actually looking for an agent. I suppose, over time, I would peruse the acknowledgment pages of books I liked to see what authors had which agents and maybe I would reach out to this person or that over time. When I had the time. Which I don’t have much of. And anyway, I’m just happy I wrote the proposal because it helped order my thoughts. And we can always self-publish, although, despite the direct cash in hand from reader to author, less the amount to Amazon or iTunes, there is nothing like having a physical book in hand. Especially in hard cover.
Sextrology was supposed to be in hardcover. We only found out accidentally from our publisher after it had been all edited and was “in house” being prepped for publication, accidentally. The editorial director we worked with at Harper Collins accidentally cc’d us on an email sent to her boss, the publisher, who played good cop to her bad. “Don’t tell them it’s not hardcover” she wrote one fine shot day. WTF? Oh, we decided it would be better as a “trade paperback” just one of several uphill battles we had to have with the company during the lengthy writing period and preparation of our first book which, we told them, was going to be a game-changer in the astrological genre. We’re going to break the mold we told them as we wrote the book. That’s why we have a design clause in our contract. The book will be smart and chic and fashionable and funny and sexy and many other things never before expected from or delivered by an astrology book. Peole were not inclined to believe. But we did prove them wrong.
The book launched at Selfridges and Harvey Nichols in London, Edinburgh and Dublin, and Marc Jacobs stores everywhere, and at Colette in Paris and at similar shops in Geneva and Zurich and other cities and at Barneys New York when it was still something, with Simon Doonan decorating the windows on a Sextrology theme. Parker Posey came to the Barneys event which was funny and confusing to fans of Will and Grace on which she portrayed the manager of Barneys at the time.We did radio and tv in the US and Europe, we ultimately wrote columns for every publication and website from Paris Vogue to the Daily Beast. Sextrology made quite a splash. Several different production companies tried and failed to build a tv show around us, both in the U.S. and, ironically, mostly, in the U.K.. Ari Emanuel at WME physically handed our book to Charlize Theron with whom Stella met as she, too,wanted to produce a show about us but, once again, agents in the form of WME got in the way. That’s a long story in its own right. Suffice to say they lied to both Charlize and to us telling the other that we didn’t want to do the one type of project we both wanted to do. Lying for a living.
I could go on and on and on. And I’m sure I will. I always do. But I want to get to the main point of this particular Blague which is a little bit of magic and or cosmic humor:
I wrote the book proposal. And though I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact it wasn’t going to be circulated to would-be agents because I just couldn’t bring myself to do that, it soon looked like we would have a great agent after all. Through other successful writer friends we had met this great agent years ago and have stayed in touch socially. When asked what we were up to we simply explained we had written this proposal but didn’t have the stomach to do some directed search. Well you can pretty much guess the rest. The point I’m making is that somehow just the writing of the proposal was enough. Perhaps there was power enough just in that process and in the intention alone to bring this project to light that it sent out its own beacon of unspoken inquiry. And so when asked what was up with us in book world, the very simple honest answer was all that was organically necessary to make a connection. At leat that is the hope. As we are known to say: Most things don’t happen, but everything happens eventually.
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