After my own recent piece for Fantasy Cafe reflecting on changes in the UK book trade since I was first published, I have naturally been fascinated by this series of articles by Judith Tarr, hosted on Catie Murphy’s blog, considering the changes she has seen over her much longer career. Thoughtful writing, well worth reading, for all of us interested in book trade issues whether as readers alone or readers and writers.
Have just heard from a chap I’ve known on and off for oh, a couple of decades, friend of family friends kindathing. He’s long wanted to be a writer. He’s written a few things I’ve seen and commented on – very overwritten, as I recall, but that’s nothing surprising in a writer’s development. We’ve all been there.
But an awful lot of would-be writers stop there, because they’re convinced what they’re writing is perfect. These days they go down the self-publishing route, convinced that ‘traditional publishing’ is biased against their genius or some such.
Not this guy. That last piece of his that I saw? He tells me “sent the book to an editor, got torn to shreds, learnt from my mistakes, moved on. . .”
He’s written plays to improve his dialogue – and had them published and performed. He’s sent out spec film scripts and got useful feedback from Hollywood. He’s been all through the cycle of agents’ letters saying ‘thanks for the novel, no, it’s not for us, but here’s a good deal of relevant feedback’.
Now he’s written The Novel that’s been picked up by a highly reputable agency, who offered it to some excellent publishers who ended up in a bidding war and a multiple book deal for very respectable money has resulted.
This really is splendid news to start a Monday, as far as I am concerned 🙂
And yet another instance of that arcane and mystical secret to publishing success – persevere and write a good book!
I’ll share more info as and when things go public.