I’ve been writing books for over twenty years. It took me a long time to discover a simple truth about the world of publishing. People don’t always mean what they say. Once I discovered this I felt a lot happier.
Here are a few examples.
What they say
You’re a cult writer
What they mean
You don't sell many books
You ms is the next on my pile to read
Not sure where it is at the moment and in any case I have lots of others to look at first.
You’re a particularly British writer
Your books don’t sell abroad
Your books are accessible
You’ll never win any prizes with them
Your writing style is spare
You are not literary
You’re good at promoting your own books
You’re way down on our list for promotion
You are a dependable writer
You never surprise us
You’re a successful writer with a huge backlist.
You’ve been around a few years too long.
You are hugely popular in libraries
Waterstone’s will only take the odd copy and forget about WHSmiths
You were nominated for the Carnegie!
You didn’t make the shortlist
Your books are complex
Teenagers won’t understand them
Anyone else had these experiences?