I 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.
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