Advice on Publishing

I was going to offer some amazing advice here, but instead I’m going to quote a few of my favourite people on the process of getting published. I hope you have a sense of humour and take some of these quotes to heart ( especially the ones about getting an agent).

” Do you realize what would happen if Moses were alive today? He’d go up to Mount Sinai, come back with the Ten Commandments, and spend the next eight years trying to get published”- Robert Orben, The Encyclopedia of One-Liner Comedy, 1971

” An author should try to get an agent to represent him. Selling a manuscript cold is the toughest way I know to get published. It can be done, but the odds are against the writer.”- William Targ, Indecent Pleasures, 1975

” For better or for worse, agents have increasingly become the keepers of the gates to book-publishing heaven.” – Nancy Love, Everything you Need to Know About Literary Agents, 1995 Writer’s Handbook

” Until you have canvassed at least 25-30 publishers you haven’t given your book the chance it has to get published.”- Richard Balkin, agent, Writers Yearbook 86

” You have to keep writing, keep submitting, and keep praying to the god of whimsy that some editor will respond favorably.” – Attributed to Peter Benchley, novelist

And some of my favourite quotes:

” This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”- Dorothy Parker, critic, quoted in Wit’s End edited by Robert E. Dremman, 1973.

” That’s not writing, that’s typing.” – Truman Capote, novelist, appraising Jack Kerouac’s work, TV interview with David Susskind, Open End, 1959

And my friend says that this one seems to mirror me, but I can’t think why.

” I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.”- George Bernard Shaw, playwright, quoted in Reader’s Digest, June 1943

And for those that get an agent- make sure that it’s the right fit for you!

” Look, they’re not interested in a talking seagull.” – What Richard Bach’s agent told him after his novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1970) was rejected more than 20 times. The book went on to sell 3, 107,500 copies in hardback, and continues to sell as a mass market


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