Writing Time, Part 34. Signs of the Times in Publishing

michael and clockI hear this a lot: “It’s just not a good time for publishing anymore. 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 later 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 stamp voucher, if you were mailing to the States, which you were, and into which 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.

muse small

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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