It’s been over a month now since I blogged about my novel – I was a bit preoccupied with BEDM14.
But that doesn’t mean that things have been quiet.
In my job I’m lucky enough to meet many different people within the industry: buyers, authors, illustrators, agents and publishers.
These days, I try not to wang on about the book too much. Most of the time I’m seeing these people in a professional capacity so I try not to make it all about me (difficult, as that’s generally my standard setting, in work or out), but occasionally, the topic will come up, one of my colleagues might mention that I’ve written a book.
When that happens, I tend to go for it, collecting names and numbers of people I should maybe think about sending the book too.
That last happened in March when I met someone who asked me to send her a copy of Memories of a Murder – I was mid-way through doing a massive edit on it, which I finished at the beginning of May, so sent it to her following that.
She promised to have a peek, and told me to nag her if she didn’t get back to me. That’s completely against my ethos, because I know I get enough people telling me that they’ve written a book when they learn that I work for WH Smith, and the last thing I want to do is read what they’ve written only to either give them false hope, or feel I have to lie to their face.
The people that I meet get it all the time, in the same way that doctors at dinner parties are asked about strange growths. People found out they’re in publishing and they get ‘I’ve written a book’.
I’m always reluctant to nag. I did email her again the other day, several weeks after I sent her the manuscript, as a gentle reminder, but I probably won’t nag her again.
But that’s not the advice I’d give to anyone else. For me, I’m not nagging because I will likely have to see these people in a professional capacity again, once they reject me, and I want to give them the option of rejecting me, rather than feeling they have to give me false hope.
But if anyone else out there is writing a book, contact agents, contact publishers and if they give you any shred of hope, grab hold of it, and run with it.
Having said that, if you find yourself in a social environment with someone in the industry, don’t tell them you’ve written a book like you’re the first person they’ve met who has ever done so.