Monday, July 22, 2013

Things an Author Should Know

By the time you are reading this, I shall be, I hope, lolling on a lounger in the south of France with a pile of books and a glass of chilled white wine, so I hope you will forgive me if this post is only a few random observations on the subject of Things an Author Should Know.

Don't get out the champagne after reading the first paragraph of the e-mail from your editor, the one that says how she adores the book and you're wonderful. Read the second paragraph, the one beginning 'But', before you pop the cork.

If you know you haven't a hope of standing up to your publisher's unreasonable demands (ie unless there was an auction for your book among three of the six big houses) give in with a smile. Demands get worse if you get marked down as 'difficult'.

However good your last book was, the next one has to be better.

Getting your first book published doesn't make you happy. You just transfer your neurosis to the next book.

A good agent is your best friend. Even if you hate him/her.

Writing a book because you think you're going to make a huge amount of money is like buying a lottery ticket believing you're going to win, only much more effortful.

Writing as a profession is lonely, exhausting, stressful and miserably underpaid. It's also the best job in the world.

3 comments:

John R. Corrigan / K.A. Delaney said...

Great post. Love it. Living it.

Clea Simon said...

So true! Just got that letter from my editor today -- and by thanking her and promising to get the revised version back by deadline. Have I read the rest of her note yet? No, but I've learned that it's better this way. I can fume in private... and then get back to work.

Hannah Dennison said...

I echo Clea's comment. Yes SO TRUE!!!!