Monday, October 11, 2010

Publishing Is a Career

how realistic is it to expect that after publishing i can leave the publishing world for a few years, ie. have no connection at all to what i have written, as if it never happened, and then to return after 3-4 years and continue writing? would you accept that and still take my second book?

I will admit, this question annoyed me just a little. Not that it was asked; I always appreciate any question being asked, because if someone is brave enough to ask, fifty others are thinking of it. No, I’m annoyed because it hints at the belief that I think many have, that writing a book and getting published is a lark, something you do because you had a little spare time, and that it’s easy.

I don’t get why you’d write a book and then disappear. I also don’t get why you wouldn’t want to do anything to support the publication of the book, because it sounds to me like you aren’t interested in doing anything. Not a website, not a book signing, nothing. While my answer doesn’t even please me, the truth is that it is possible. If you write a really great book and someone wants it, there’s no rule that says you need to stick around and “own” that book.

That being said, I don’t think I’d want to represent someone who pitches their book to me in this way. But of course, if the book is magical, amazing, and wows the pants off me, I guess I wouldn’t be able to turn it down, either.

As for returning to continue writing at a later date, how well you can do that is going to depend entirely on how well your first book did, because even though you don’t want any connection to it, if you plan on using the same name, you’re connected. If you really want no connection, I guess you never have to admit you wrote it.

To sum up, it’s possible, tricky but possible. And it doesn’t sit well with me.