Potholes on the Road to Publication - The Real Dirt

Big pothole in a road

Some people dream of being an author … working whenever and wherever you want; wearing whatever you want and showering only when absolutely necessary due to health regulations or complaints from your family and friends; no stress; eating boxes of bonbons while letting your imagination run free; taking your pick of the top literary agents; letting your chosen agent do the work of selling to a publishing house; cashing a nice big fat advance cheque; sitting back and watching the publishing house promote and market your book all the way to the top of a bestseller list; then cashing your big fat royalty cheques. More bonbons. Write book #2. Repeat.

Some people believe in the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny, too.

Travelling along the real road to publication is brutal! And if you have thin tires or a weak suspension you’re going to get dented when you crash into one of the many potholes that lie in wait in every road to publication.

The thing is … a lot of published authors won’t talk openly and honestly about all those potholes. Once they manage to get an agent and a publisher they have to put all their energies into promoting their books (hence all the annoying constant tweets and posts that can easily be edited down to just three words – BUY MY BOOK!), and they have to get their next manuscript written so their agent can have something to sell to their publisher before their publisher forgets that they exist, and they have to present the image of Successful Author to the public (because nobody wants to buy a book written by someone who’s mediocre), while continuously dodging the hidden potholes that can and do suddenly open up on their publishing highway.

I don’t have a book to sell right now (see previous post – One Helluva Ride), so instead of trying to come up with unique ways to paraphrase "Buy My Book!" I’ve decided to tell it like it really is in the current world of publishing. I can only tell my writer story … but, after talking to several other authors, I know that my story isn’t unique. I’m just the one who’s mouthy enough to tell it. 

Even if you’re not a writer I hope that you’ll find the posts in this series entertaining (the same way watching someone slip on a banana peel is entertaining).

And if you’re a writer hoping to become an Author (said with an upper crust British accent) be forewarned – there are many hazards ahead. I know from experience. I’ve stumbled into most of them.

I’ll start with the yacht that got me my first writing credit …

Put your seatbelt on.