College Football, Star Wars and Baby BehemothsBooks, Burnside Sells Out, Featured, Sports — By Jordan Green on August 6, 2010 at 8:00 am
“No one cares about golf,” I muttered. But I read it anyway, and it was surprisingly funny, so we ran it.
“That guy needs to write a book,” he said. “Tell him I’ll write the foreword.”
Then, a little over three years ago, Chad finished his book. It was a hilarious collection of biographical vignettes, and it had a cover that would guarantee gangbuster sales. But Chad didn’t have many connections. I knew maybe three publishers around the country, which made me infinitely more connected than Chad was.
“Don’t worry, little Chadwick…I’ll lead you to the promised land of publishing deals. I know people.”
For the most part, no one was interested. But then Karen Spears Zacharias put us in touch with an editor at Zondervan, a plucky fellow named Andy Meisenheimer who got Chad’s humor, and, perhaps most importantly, understood the value of Baby Chad on the cover, in all his gargantuan glory.
With an editor hooked and sold, I started furiously pounding out percentages on my girlfriend’s graphing calculator. “Let’s see…$30,000 advance…since he’s a rube from northern Alabama, I bet I could talk him into getting 30%…”
The problem: Andy’s enthusiasm was matched by an equal level of rancor from some Zondervan higher ups. They didn’t see the appeal, and the more Andy worked angles to convince them, the more they pushed back. As an illustration, here’s what I picture every time I imagine it:
(NOTE: Lest this video clip be chalked up to mere bandwagon jumping in lieu of the new Tron trailer released at Comic Con a couple weeks ago, I swear this article was written before. I’m on the cutting edge like that.)
For over a year, Andy pitched and got turned down. Finally, after a particularly disheartening hail mary, we gave up. I called Chad.
“I think you need to find someone who’s actually an agent,” I told him. “Maybe they’ll find you a deal elsewhere.”
Chad talked to the well-regarded Chip MacGregor, an Oregon-based guy who represents a number of other Burnside contributors, and who probably informed Chad 30% was a bit exorbitant for an agent. A week later, Chad had a book deal. With Zondervan.