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  • sarahjmaxwell

The Name of the Publishing Game

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

Patience is waiting for something to happen. Persistence is making it happen.

“I’ve written a novel. Tell me how I get it traditionally published?”

I’m not convinced there is a right answer to that question. There most definitely is not a simple one. I know because I looked for the answer for fifteen years. I asked the Levitating Turtle, the Universe and my husband – the font of knowledge.

You have a book you’ve written, redrafted, edited, entrusted with trusted readers, who reported the book was, (insert excessive praise here). Shouldn’t publication be inevitable? Shouldn’t it be easy?

Er, no.

Years later, endless cups of tea and slices of cake, later, I’m still not sure HOW exactly, but it’s happened. ‘Billy Lemonade’ is only weeks away from publication. Therefore, I must at least know WHY.

Here are my Top 10 reasons:

1. Persistence

2. Insensitivity (rejections are NOT personal)

3. Patience

4. Determination

5. Awareness (absorb the good advice)

6. Courage (ignore the bad advice, the naysayers and the voice of your own self-doubt)

7. Editing (so much editing)

8. Growth (strive to develop your skills)

9. Acceptance - you are likely never going to be the best

10. Acceptance - you are likely never going to be the worst

My list isn’t extensive, neither does it touch upon gaining the attention of an Agent/Publisher, but if you don’t possess the above, you’ll never get further than the ‘slush’ pile.

(If the ‘name of the game’ is self-publication, the ‘how’ might not be as complex. The reasons ‘why’ should be the same).

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