The Ends of the Earth

I con­tin­ue to be pleas­antly sur­prised by the responses of estab­lished authors. This morn­ing I received yet anoth­er kind email from a well-known writer who says he will be happy to read my nov­el and provide some feed­back, pos­sibly even a form­al review if the mood takes him. His email does not, of course, prom­ise a review, and it cer­tainly does not prom­ise a pos­it­ive review, but it does sug­gest a will­ing­ness to hear new voices and ideas. This kind of beha­viour is all any aspir­ing writer would want — an oppor­tun­ity for work to be con­sidered.

The time invest­ment of this writer is com­par­able to that of a pub­lish­ing house. The former receives no mon­ies to com­pensate read­ing a new nov­el; the latter’s life-blood depends on it. And how many pub­lish­ers read my nov­el? Not a one. A small num­ber read the syn­op­sis, a smal­ler num­ber read two or three chapters, but none gave me the oppor­tun­ity to have my work appro­pri­ately con­sidered. That’s why I hes­it­ate to say that my nov­el was rejec­ted by, for example, Orion, because ‘rejec­tion’ sug­gests reas­on­able con­sid­er­a­tion.

But enough carp­ing. My point is that one might, some­what super­fi­cially, think that writers are selfish beasts with little time for the pups snap­ping at their heels. But in con­trast to my deal­ings with pub­lish­ers and agents — who are dis­missive, occa­sion­ally rude, or fail to answer let­ters alto­geth­er — 9/10 of the estab­lished writers I have con­tac­ted were polite, encour­aging and will­ing to offer their time.

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

2 thoughts on “The Ends of the Earth”

  1. Hi Ian! I’m really enjoy­ing read­ing your blog, there’s lots of inter­est­ing writerly stuff in here 🙂 I am curi­ous — did you actu­ally post cop­ies of your nov­el to those estab­lished writers you men­tion, or just email them pdfs? I’ve sent out a lot of pdfs of mine to cut costs, but obvi­ously print cop­ies are bet­ter. I wasn’t sure if it was worth­while send­ing print cop­ies out, but 9/10 responses ain’t bad!

  2. Hi Omma

    Yes, I sent off full cop­ies of the book. I think you need to make it as easy as pos­sible to read, so a PDF may not be ideal (though much cheap­er). I put the books in nice little pad­ded envel­opes with a hand-writ­ten com­pli­ments slip and busi­ness card to use as a book­mark. I sent books off to about sev­en writers that I really admire. Almost all of them have acknow­ledged receipt and two of them have got back to me say­ing they’ve read it.

    Let me know if you want to know more…

    Best wishes

    Ian

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