Thirty years ago “they said” a new writer had to find a way to get to New York and meet the editors face to face if she wanted to sell a book. I had four small children and couldn’t afford that, but still got in “over the transom” to be fished out of the slush pile. I didn’t meet my editor face to face until I had done seven novels with her–and someone else paid for a business trip to NY.
Over thirty years, I’ve had 44 books published by various traditional publishers. Today “they say” you must attend conferences to meet editors face to face and increase your chances of selling to them. I have met some lovely editors and agents at conferences I both attended and spoke at. I’ve paid for critiques with some of them. However, I’ve never sold anything that way.
Don’t Get Me Wrong
I’m not saying to avoid conferences or trips or critique groups or social networking or anything else “they say” you must do to succeed. There is some wisdom in all that advice. But does it all apply to YOU? No one else can tell you that.
This week I am taking some time to re-think a few writerly things I’ve been doing that “they say” are so important for writers to succeed in the digital age. Some things I will keep doing. Some, I suspect, I will drop.