In all honesty, this quest marks a return after a two-year hiatus from my Prince book. After I graduated from Northern Kentucky University in 2008 with a B.A. in Liberal Studies (I studied a variety of subjects from flute performance to public relations), I was preoccupied with getting a job and planning for graduate school. I did manage to send my first query letters to book publishers.
I devised a two-part strategy. First, I’d consult the publishers who have already released Prince biographies, then I’d target publishers who specialize in music biographies in general. I assumed that both groups would appreciate my new angle on Prince’s life and music. I wrote to Helter Skelter Publishing Ltd, a subsidiary of Firefly Publishing, who published Dance Music Sex Romance: Prince, The First Decade by Per Nilsen. I also wrote to Watson-Guptill, who published Possessed: the Rise and Fall of Prince by Alex Hahn under the Billboard Books imprint.
Helter Skelter responded that they decided to pass on my book. I have yet to hear from Watson-Guptill, but I’m sure it’s safe to say that they were not interested. I suppose that even a new angle was not enough to justify placing another Prince book into the market.
After that, life got in the way of my publishing plans. I worked a full-time job, left the full-time job, traveled to Los Angeles as a finalist for an entry-level position with the Recording Academy, left Los Angeles when I didn’t get the position, studied and took the GRE and began the graduate school application process.
I have now completed my first quarter of the master’s program at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. A kind, fellow classmate referred me to his agent. About a month ago, I submitted my third query letter. Unfortunately, the agent does not think that my book is marketable in the current, difficult publishing industry.
I am not giving up!
So, what’s next?
The two most important steps are continuing to submit queries and expanding my book. The second step actually outweighs the first. My 80 pages were composed from extensive research of secondary sources—what others have written and what Prince has expressed via his creative works.
It’s time for me to talk to Prince and his family, friends and associates myself. Currently, I’ve sent interview questions to former Revolution band member, Dez Dickerson. I am also trying to confirm a phone interview with Larry Graham, the legendary bass guitar player (and fellow Jehovah’s Witness) who sometimes plays with Prince.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!