Although I understand the meaning behind the saying The Lord helps those who help themselves, I believe it is equally important, if not more so, to ensure you help others along the path of your journey and hopefully, they will still be there so’s you can give each other a leg-up when you come across the inevitable obstacles along the way.
It might seem trite to say authors make a publishing company but make no mistake, it is no less true that a good publishing company can make an author; a symbiotic relationship that requires constant nurture to ensure healthy growth.
Literary agents and Publishing Houses refer to the large amount of manuscripts they receive as the Slush Pile, and it is not difficult to imagine an agent trapped somewhere behind this small mountain of words-on-paper.
It is also not that difficult to imagine the frustration agents feel having to wade through hundreds and hundreds of Introductory Letters and partials; the term to denote a partial manuscript.
And this applies to email submissions as well. I shudder when I open my email after a couple of days and find 231 unread messages and alerts from Word Press. I have to wade through all that?
And I’ll be honest, on occasion I don’t. Click, Select All. Delete. I know, Terrible, isn’t it?
So what, I wonder, is it about a submission that would suddenly captivate a literary agent or publisher enough to suddenly scream, “Stop the Press!”, “Eureka!”, or, ‘Who the hell is Harry Potter?”
Honestly? I haven’t got a clue.
I mostly write comic fantasy. I laugh at my own writing. Maybe even more so than those who read my work? Probably because I know all the gags and all the subtle references. And in the words of Terry Pratchett’s famous witch, Nanny Ogg, ‘’double intenders’’.
This occasionally worries me. Is my ego taking over?
I also find it a bit disconcerting that I hardly ever come across fiction in Blogland that I can relate to.
But I remind myself that while I consider Sir Terry Pratchett a brilliant author I have never been able to really enjoy the first two Discworld novels, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic.
Yet, his 25th novel, The Truth is my favourite book of all time.
Which adds some credence to the tagline, “opinions are so often subjective…” at the bottom of form letters literary agents often send out.
All this makes it more special that a publisher would take me under their wing and publish my work.
Even though it was not a smooth ride, and occasionally it caused sleepless nights, I still smile every time I take my first novel from the bookshelf and simply hold it, or flip the pages through my fingers, or look at an image of the cover on the internet.
And the thought comes, unbidden, ‘I wrote this. Me. My words. My story. My book.
I believed in it enough to see it through to the finish, but it was my publisher who believed in it enough to bring it to life.
Don’t stop believing. Maybe you will find a publisher like mine?
Thank you, Lyz.
Go visit P’kaboo and say hello. Or visit Lyz personally. She’s a fine writer in her own right, and here in Blogland.