On a spring day 30 years ago, I remember standing in line at the post office, with a heavy box in my arms. It was the manuscript for my second novel in a series, and would reach my editor in London within a week. I felt proud and happy and was so excited that I’d see my book on bookstore shelves in 12 to 18 months.
That’s hard to believe these days. No more manuscripts. No more trips to the post office. No more agents, editors and publishers.
There’s only one thing I miss from those days: my editors. I had some wonderful editors. I don’t miss anything else.
I most especially don’t miss rejection slips, although I only received a couple. I know many writers who just gave up in the face of constant rejection.
That’s what you did in those days. You gave up. As this article, Ebook Authors Continue To See Self-Publishing Stigma Disappear | Techdirt, reports:
“â€¦. some of these now-successful self-published authors are the same people that could have given up after receiving a dozen rejection slips for their books from agents and publishers. Perhaps more to the point, twenty years ago these authors would have been forced to give up on those books, because the publishing companies were the gatekeepers and publishing books only worked economically because of the kind of scale those publishers could command.”
If you’re just starting out as a writer today, and are working on your first books, you don’t know how lucky you are, in manuscript (quaint word these days) preparation, if nothing else.
When I bought my first computer, an Apple IIe in 1984, I thought I’d died and had gone to heaven. No more carbon paper! No more endless retyping of manuscript pages with too many typos! Bliss.
I thought 64 KB was a LOT of memory. 🙂 When I wondered where computers were headed, I was 100% certain that no computer would ever show something that looked like a magazine page.
Today, many authors, both new and established, complain about self-publishing, and traditional publishing.
I can’t do that. I feel so lucky. We’re all very lucky. The problems writers face today aren’t problems at all. You CAN’T get rejected. You can go directly to readers. If readers “reject” you by not buying your book, write another one.
We live in amazing times. Make the most of them.
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