Today Sandra Bishop posted a nice allegory on Literary Agent Chip McGregor's Blog about how veteran writers should lend a hand to newbie writers, how they should prepare writers who are seeking publication by sharing the knowledge they know, and how writers should ask before they pitch. She states...
Based on the queries and submissions we receive, I'm sad to say there is a staggering amount of evidence that tons of folks don't bother figuring out the rules of the writing road. Don't think to read between the signs along the way and think about what they're getting into. They see the promise of treasure and plunge ahead, ignoring guidelines, books on craft, the market.
Here is my response below:
There are many great author friends in publishing who share everything about the process. Some of my write-or-die chicks have built brilliant stories, had a laundry list of endorsements from other authors, paid for copy editing, attended workshops, were rejected multiple times, and believe that this work is a part of the process, so we write again and start all over until some great agent or editor picks us up.
On the other hand, I have witnessed writers whose manuscripts had heavy grammatical errors, poor plot construction, dry themes and yet became published. I've even had agents come to me to help their author client build a better marketable book to pitch, and those authors were published. Those writers--for whatever reason-- didn't need to know the list to get through.
And that's the rub for me and many other writers, who are doing what they do, yet know for a fact that "the list" applies to those who aren't friends with the List maker.
So I would also add that we writers should not just encourage and share, but also be a soft place to fall when good writers(and we know who a good writer is) need a measure of our faith to hold onto when they feel weak on this journey.
What is the List for getting a book published? Are their hidden items on that list? And if so, what are they and why are they hidden? Let's have a Real Talk discussion today. I encourage any agents, editors, writers, publishers to join in and if need be debate. I'm doing some spring cleaning today, cleaning out the past year's crap in my pr life. Let's Go.
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