One of the most encouraging things I’ve read for a long time is this sentence from the acknowledgments page of Henry Mitchell’s novel, The Summer Boy.
Thanks to the almost two hundred agents and editors who passed on my queries, thus compelling me to keep searching until the right publisher found me.
TWO HUNDRED?? Now there’s a lesson in persistence!
* * *The Internet is awash with advice on how to get your work accepted by agents and publishers, how to self-publish, and how to ensure your book achieves bestseller status. So if you just follow the rules laid down by all these experts success must be guaranteed, right? Wrong! And that was why this sentence by Beverley Birch leapt out at me from her article in Notes From The Slushpile.
The truth is that no one knows how to publish successfully in the 21st century’s multiple currents, cross-currents and swirls – least of all publishers.
And Beverley knows what she’s talking about. Not only is she a published author of over 40 children’s books, but she has also worked as a commissioning editor for a respected publishing house.
Am I dismayed that someone with her experience and insider knowledge doesn’t have a secret formula for publishing success? No, her words felt like a very welcome gust of fresh air. Her only advice for writers is to keep on writing the story you want to tell – and that’s exactly what I’m doing!
* * *And finally … perhaps the most encouraging sentence of all.
We would like to publish your Rave in the next issue of Mslexia.
Mslexia’s Rants and Raves feature is where readers describe something they love or loathe. It’s only a paragraph, but I almost didn’t submit my Rave because I thought it would be considered too flippant for a serious literary magazine.
Whoo-hoo! This one little acceptance has cancelled out at least a dozen previous rejections!
Onwards and upwards!
What encourages you to keep on, keeping on?