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Ten Steps to Publication

April 10, 2011

This evening I thoroughly enjoyed Jennifer Weiner’s blog post, So you want to be a novelist?

The first step is, perhaps, my favorite:

1. The Unhappy Childhood

The big joke in the publishing community is that smart editors shouldn’t waste their time at lunches or conferences, but should instead proceed directly to the local elementary schools. There, they will carefully note the boys picked last in gym class, the girls sitting alone in the cafeteria – all of the outcasts, misfits, geeks, dweebs and weirdos – and give them some kind of small identifying tag (much like wildlife services will tag animals to follow their progress through the years). Twenty years later, the editors should track down the kids they’ve tagged, now hopefully grown to more successful adulthood, and say, “Okay, where’s the book?”

I am ready for step six: Get a Dog. I was already aware of that need.

She does put “Read” at step ten, possibly out of convenience, and I would place it at two or three. I think it’s no less important, as a foundation, than the unhappy childhood and the miserable love life.


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