Everything changes in this world of writing and publishing. The truth remains: there’s never been a better time to write and publish. We’re told the opposite, of course. However, if you drive your time machine back thirty years or eighty years, you’ll hear the same old discouraging comments. I’m convinced that could one accompany Louisa May Alcott to her first interviews with publishers, we’d hear them say that it’s all much harder now than it used to be.
Penguin Books have always been my publishing heroes. Nearly anything they publish is worth reading, and if I ever in my life threw one of their paperbacks across the room, it was only to utter a heartfelt, Damn, I’ll never write that well. And then pick it up again. (And vow to try until my dying day to write that well).
Changes Bring Opportunity
When Penguin started out, with the idea of getting excellent books out for sale for the same price as ten cigarettes, the naysayers had a lot to say. “Nobody will stock paperback reprints, for they are useless, grubby, dog-eared calumnies of paper and card,” they sang. (I paraphrase). Naysayers predicted rapid failure. Penguin smiled and sent a young staffer to the Regents Park Zoo, where he drew the first penguin logo. A decade later this same staffer captained a WW2 submarine and wrote about it (grippingly), and Penguin published that book as their thousandth paperback.
Changes Within Our Control
All times are great times to be a writer, because it’s not about the era. It’s about the attitude.
I hope you’ll have another brilliant week in your writing career. Cheers Mel
Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and is Acquisitions Editor with Pulp Literature Press.
If you enjoy reading Mel Anastasiou’s writing tips, get her pocket-sized writing guide, The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume, here. Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires you through 30 days of hints and help with narrative structure. Coming soon, The Writer’s Friend and Confidante: Thirty Days of Narrative Achievement. Designed with Nanowrimo in mind, but works any thirty days you’ve got.