The witch and the slushpile

No, I’m not on it. I’m it, it seems. I am getting increasingly many, and increasingly bad, offers of books to read and review and all kinds of other things like interviews and whatnot.

Recently I gave up my attempts at being nice and friendly to almost everyone (the gas meter reader I screamed at the other week not included) and changed what I say on my blog contact form. But the odd thing is that it appears to spur people on, rather than the restraint I had hoped for.

Zombie romance novellas are not, and might never be, my favoured genre for reading. Actually. Not even if the author has an interesting back-story (body removal technician). But I suppose it’s worth asking.

Most of the askings are destined to get not even a ‘perhaps’ from me. Some are very dire, and it is quite sad some of the time, because people have tried. Sometimes it gets annoying, when the writer is under the impression they can make demands.

I could remove the contact form. But then I wouldn’t hear from the many nice people who write to me. And some of the books offered are fine, and more than fine. I’d go so far as to say I’m not prejudiced against the undertaker professsion either, but it takes skill to incorporate that kind of background into a children’s book.

8 responses to “The witch and the slushpile

  1. I suppose this means you have arrived. As with so many things, its not always all its cracked up to be.

    Working in a bookstore I am very, very familiar with the unsolicited importunings of authors. Not all bad. Not all good either.

  2. The problem with social networking, and promotional activities for books or short stories, is that it all gets in the way of creative writing. So no book offers from me.

  3. Some can be so good that you wonder what need there is for publishers. And some are not.
    Trevor, I wouldn’t dream of reading your book! I have facebook and twitter to look at.

  4. Ann, I get sent them, too. And I don’t even review books. I also get sent books from writers asking me to publish them, or agent them. I’m NOT a publisher (except for some ebooks of my own) and I’m not an agent. My most recent one was addressed to Dear Respected Sir. GRRRRR. (No, it didn’t say GRRRRR.)

  5. But you are dear and respected and somewhat grrrr.

  6. It’s all because once in a blue moon, someone does send you an unpublished/self-published book that you actually do enjoy…

  7. Let me see. Someone has done that very thing you describe. Who was it?

    And I apologise to all (well, most of you) who had planned to email me some kind of suggestion, but left it 24 hours too long. It IS very embarrassing approaching an enraged witch just after she has let rip about the very thing you had planned to mention.


  8. The other thing is, few new writers really appreciate how Kafkaesque is the world of publishing. You think you’ve made it if you can get an agent, a publisher, or one credible press review, or one high-profile blogger to put in a good word, or one book award, or one interview… but every door just opens onto more locked doors, and every gatekeeper turns out to be just another stage in a seemingly endless labyrinth that might not even have an exit… The only way to stay sane is simply to write what you want to write and hope that someone else likes it one day. And if not, at least you like it yourself.

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