In the Swim, In Publishing

twofishsmallI hear this a lot: “It’s just not a good time for publishing  any more.  Should have been there thirty years ago.” Anybody who dealt with  getting books published in the 70s, 80s or 90s – or indeed any still earlier decade – probably gives a quiet, slightly mad, chuckle when they hear these words.

Gosh, was it difficult to deal with publishers in the olden days of typewriters and then dot-matrix paper with those damned strips of holes to rip away at the sides.  You had to produce a perfect paper copy, package it and send it away with a self-addressed stamped envelope.  Or with a international reply coupon, if you were mailing to the States, which you were.  And then the threshold guardians of the time folded the  mimeographed purple-bleeding rejection:  “…not suitable for our purposes at this time but we wish you all the best.”  And, you sent your envelopes out one at a time and waited six months, a year or a decade for a reply.  You know what people said back then? “It’s just not a good time for publishing anymore.”

Sure, you didn’t have to think about having an author page or tweeting anything — but writing for shopping newspapers was a recommended starting place, if you were lucky enough to get that gig.

But then or now, best practice comes down to this:  Use the time you’ve got to write a book that is so excellent that your readers don’t want to stop reading it.  And then write another one.  And so on.

I hope it’s another brilliant writing week for you.

Cheers, Mel.

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This week from @yourwritingmuse: I love the subtle way you connect the end of a scene to the start of the next. Great rhythms. Your fan, Your Writing Muse

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