20 June 2006

Naïve Writers 101

WARNING: Naïve writers must not read this post. To preserve the purity of your naïvety, hit the X [exit] button in the upper right corner of your screen now!

An excerpt from a not-written textbook.
International Naïve Writer Day was created to recognize the unaware, naive writer you were before you stepped in here. On what day of the year is International Naïve Writer Day celebrated?

Do you remember the phone calls, emails and letters you sent to publishers without any research on what they did: Not who they published. Not the genre or types of books published. Not the scale of operation. Not where they were located in relation to where you were. Remember when you did nothing other than find a phone number in the Yellow Pages, or an address at the library?

Remember when you said that so-and-so recommended you to them? Remember the silence on the other end of the phone? That was the publisher questioning themselves while trying to find the good words to ask whether it really was a recommendation of hadn't you, in fact, simply received an address list that you were running down?

Remember when you said you'd written the next New York Times Best-seller? How did the publisher respond? Remember the sigh? That was them asking themselves Why, if you've written a book that big, has you contacted me—a [kitchen table, basement, bedroom office, backshed, etc.] publisher in backwater ______? Do I look like a publisher of New York Times Best-sellers? Have I/we published any up till now?

Remember the cute, scented bio notes about your cats and curling up with a cut of tea watching the ocean? The ones sent with the cookie crumbs, loose flower petals, pot seeds, or sparkles in the envelope? The hand-written notes on a sheet of loose-leaf paper from you child's school supplies? The number of time you didn't include a SASE (and, in fact, didn't know that meant Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope, or that your domestic postage will not get a reply mailed to you).

Remember when you admitted that you didn't really know what you wanted, just that you've written [something] that should be published. Remember admitting that you didn't know the difference between printers, contract publishers and trade publishers.

Remember when you said that you had not published anything anywhere—not even a poem in your church's newsletter—but that you'd written a book you knew tonnes of people were going to want to read, need to read?

Remember when you asked the publisher for referals to other publishers; or for the address for another book publisher?

Remember when you asked if you could drop by the publisher's office for instant feedback on your writing?

[ . . . }

loc: edOff
temp: 29 C
sound: Dylan & The Dead, "Gotta Serve Somebody"

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