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Take My Publisher, Please!
by: Ed Williams

An actual phone conversation I had earlier today....

“Hello, is this Ed?”

“Uh, yes it is.”

“Ed Williams, the writer guy?”

“Uh, yeah, Ed Williams the writer guy.”

“How are you? My name is Sam Filbert, and I’m a big fan.”

“Hey Sam, it’s nice to meet you, what can I do for you?”

“It’s really you, isn’t it?”

“Yeah Sam, last time me and my mirror met, it was me.”

“What? Oh, okay! I see what you’re meaning. That could even be funny, you know. Did you mean for it to be?”

“Just horsin‘ around. What can I do for you?”

“I was given your name and number by your dad, Fred Williams, Jr. He seems like a really nice guy. We talked for a long time, and then he gave me your phone number so that I could call you. What a great guy!”

“Great isn‘t even close to how I‘d describe him right now, Sam. Old Fred is quite a guy, and then some. Now look, I have some work I have to get done, and I know you didn’t call just to tell me just how much you like sweet old Fred. What can I do for you?”

“Ed, I wanted to know if you’d like to help America’s next humor writing superstar!”

“Well, tell me the name of the person and what they’ve done, and then we can talk more.”

“Ed, with all due respect, I’m talkin’ about myself!”

“Sam, you write?”

“I sure do, Ed. Let me tell you a little about what I’ve written. For the last six months I’ve written something every day, in fact, I write at least two pages each day no matter what!”

“Sam, that’s very impressive. What kind of stuff do you write?”

“Well, I love to write stories about growing up in a small Southern town. I grew up in Shady Dale, Georgia, so my manuscript is a bunch of funny stories about all the crazy things we did when I was growing up there.”

“That’s great, Sam, I give you a lot of credit for being persistent enough to complete an entire manuscript. That’s quite an accomplishment. What’s next for you?”

“That’s where you come in, Ed.”

“That’s where I come in? What’re you talking about?”

“Ed, look. I know getting a book published is hard. Real hard. And I’m sitting here with all these great stories about growing up in Shady Dale - I have no doubt that they’ll be popular and sell tons of books. That’s where you come in, and that’s where you can help me. You can get me in front of a publisher in no time, and then I’ll convince them that they need to publish my book!”

“I can do that? How?”

“Just introduce me to the people over at River City Publishing, your publisher. I’ll take it from there. Once they see my stories, I guarantee you they’ll want to do a book.”

“Ummmmm, Sam, I don’t quite know quite how to say this, but my own stuff happens to be “growing up in the country” stories set in Juliette. If I bring River City your stories, which also seem to be “growing up in the country” stories set in Shady Dale, then I’m competing with myself. And that’s a not a very smart thing for me to do.”

“Ed, you’re being a little selfish here, aren’t you? I know my stories are better, but I’ll bet you could still find someone to continue publishing yours. River City is just one publisher, I’ll sure you could find another one.”

“Exactly, Sam, which is why you should take the initiative and go out and find your own publisher. I wish you the best in your search.”

“You’re not gonna help me? Don’t you think you’re being a little selfish here, Ed?”

“No, Sam, I don‘t. I wish you the best of luck.”

“Man, this isn’t how your dad Fred said it would go. I trusted him, especially after reading so much about him. Mr. Fred said you like helping new writers, and here I am asking you for help, and you don’t wanna help me.”

“Sam, tell you what, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll help you out with River City if you’ll go out first and find me another publisher. Then we’d be even, you’ll have a publisher and I’ll have a publisher. Whatcha think?”

“I gotta run, Ed. The wife is hollering for me. Tell Fred hello!”


About The Author

Ed’s latest book, “Rough As A Cob,“ can be ordered by calling River City Publishing toll-free at: 877-408-7078. He’s also a popular after dinner speaker, and his column runs in a number of Southeastern publications. You can contact him via email at:, or through his web site address at:

This article was posted on February 16, 2005


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