There’s been entire books written on the ‘rules’ of writing. I tend to ignore them. As my ‘big brother’ in writing once told me: Did the book sell? Then it’s good.
I’m not a technically perfect writer. I don’t care if you’re supposed to use -ly adverbs sparingly or all that stuff. I write the best story I know how to write. Hopefully, a publisher and then a reader will think it’s worthwile.
There is one rule, however, that should NEVER be broken.
Be polite, appreciative, and above all remember that your publisher has more on his/her plate than just your book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They may be diluged by emails from other authors, all equally eager to hear about progress with THEIR story. These people are juggling dozens of tasks at once. Treat them with respect, dignity, and give them time to respond.
Don’t nag them.
Don’t get snarky on them.
Don’t make unreasonable demands on them (ie no demanding your book becomes a priority just because you want it to be).
You talk with them as you would want to be spoken to. They’re wanting the same thing you are, a successful run with your title.
While you wait, work on the next book. Do some publicity for the one under contract. It’s not out yet? Create a buzz so there’s a sense of anticipation for it. Start talking with bloggers and podcasters about interviews, small bookstores and libraries about their requirements for book signings.
Now, I’ll admit I contracted a serious case of what I call OEC (Obsessive Email Checking) several years ago. We all want to get that email that tells you what you’ve been waiting for. But hounding and badgering the people in charge aren’t going to move you up the list faster.
You’ll be remembered, but not in a positive light. And is that really the impression you want to give?
3 thoughts on “The one rule to rule them all”
Great advice! I’m working on something now and am really optimistic about the project. I am not a nagger, but maybe annoying sometimes.
It’s something that’s going to really help you in the long run if you keep it firmly at the front of your brain. People remember the pushy people, yes. But not in a good way.
I totally agree. The publisher is making a business investment in you. Professionalism and cordiality only serves both sides of the equation.