It’s list time again. This week it’s for everyone thinking that publishing a book will solve your financial, career and self-esteem issues and cause your nearest and dearest to treat you with respect and awe.
The reality is…
- Getting published will not write your second novel for you.
- Or entice laundry fairies to come live in your house.
- It is unlikely to make you rich. Most writers also have real jobs.
- Getting published will fill your children with respect and awe until you ask them to clean their rooms.
- “When can we have the next one?” is what publishers say directly after “congratulations on your first novel!”
- The role of the second novel is to prove that the first one was a fluke.
- Being shortlisted for a major award is nice, but unless it is the Booker, none of your friends will notice.
- Being shortlisted for a minor award requires attendance at a long ceremony followed by sincere-looking applause for someone else.
- If you are lucky enough to be reviewed, it will usually be by the only person you have ever been rude to. The accompanying photo will announce publicly that you could afford to lose a few pounds. (A flattering jacket photo, on the other hand, will inspire people to remark how terrible you look in real life.)
- Publishing a novel will not grant you immortality. In the unlikely event that your book survives to the next century you will almost certainly be too dead to care.
Having said that, writing novels is by far the best job I’ve ever had.
Tells you everything you need to know about what I did before (advertising).