The Business of Books

There are two sides to writing if you are interested in being published. One side is up to you, and that is producing the story, poem, novel, or memoir that represents your best efforts and is rewarded with the great news that you are being published. The other side is cold, hard business - dark and seamy and filled with potholes and disasters - and those are the good things about the business side of being published.

When I was notified that my first novel was going to be published, I was thrilled. I had images of my book in print with my name on it and all kinds of accolades and bestseller status and . . .  so on. Likewise my second novel. Things were rolling and, even though I wasn't getting rich by any stretch of the imagination, I was proud of my work. Novel #3 was finished and sent off and I was told it would be published last November. And then communication came to a dead stop. Emails were unanswered. A Christmas gift was not acknowledged. No communication. This is the evil side of publishing; the business side over which writers have little control. So I made a decision based on the fact that communication had ended. I sent them a registered letter terminating my contracts. 

Now I am on the street again, seeking a publisher or an agent, tin cup in hand and singing "Mr. Bojangles" on street corners. Tough decisions are not always rewarded immediately, you know.

A Meeting of the Minds

Last Saturday morning a local writers group, The Write Minds, met at the Carenen Cottage, as they do on the first Saturday of each month, and the third Wednesday evening. There were ten of us there with a broad spectrum of ages, two of the three sexes, and a variety of genres. Represented that morning were published and unpublished novelists, published and unpublished poets, a man writing a book on personal finance, and a lady who writes haiku. What a group! But I'm writing this just to say that it was a terrific morning, aided somewhat by not only the congenial atmosphere, but Dunkin Doughnuts, coffee (with Bailey's Irish Creme available to improve the beverage), and a variety of teas. So we all sat around and took turns sharing what we wrote, receiving constructive feedback taking into account excellent work and work that isn't excellent just yet. In short, we helped each other

We enjoyed ourselves from 9:30 until shortly after 12 Noon, and the time just whisper-jetted away. It was beautiful outside and inside. And I loved it. We were enjoying ourselves and looking forward already to the next gathering.

A fine morning, indeed. That's all I wanted to share, dear reader - that is, a good thing that made every one of us happy. A simple thing. A gift.