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  • Writer's pictureGareth Williams

Getting published or not

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Here's the rub! It's one thing to work for months polishing your manuscript. That's the fun part. But at some point you have to send your baby out into the world. It can be a daunting thought. The silence can be deafening. I lost count of the Literary Agents from whom I tried to elicit interest. Publishing houses can be even worse. The big ones have slush piles taller than my house. The small ones might not really have the wherewithal to promote your precious book. I looked at doing the whole thing myself with Amazon. There's plenty of potential there if you are a jack of all trades. But even if you manage to navigate everything and produce a professional looking book, you still have to market it. Some people are naturally good at this. They enjoy it. I don't!

Anyway, the good news is that anyone with a decent book can get lucky. I got a call just a couple of days ago. A publisher is interested in my book. He just doesn't like the title - Needing Napoleon. He may be right. I wasn't that sure myself, even f the main character needs help, needs purpose and wants to help Napoleon win the battle of Waterloo! He wants a one word title. I'm still trying to come up with something...

We all need a critical friend. Sitting at a desk for hours and hours, working on a story is a good way to get completely lost in the detail or let the storyline run away with you. Before you know it you have written yourself down a cul-de-sac thirty thousand words long! Now that's a bad place to be. So when this prospective publisher said my paragraphs were too long, I didn't argue. He also thinks the book is a bit too long. Could I cut a bit? Now authors are pretty defensive about this. I spent several months editing Needing Napoleon, I tried to lose every extraneous word. Now some arbitrary number (90,000) is my limit. Did I argue? No. But I did say I would think about it.

When I take a step back, things look different. Of course an editor will suggest changes. He or she knows the market. They have experience. I have no objectivity about my book. How could I have? Anyway, we will see how things progress. I'll keep you posted!

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