The Myth of the Lone Ranger Author

Moore-LoneRangerAs more and more people venture into self publishing, I’ve noticed that for many, it’s a rude awakening how much help they actually need even though they’re thinking of it as a DIY project. I think that’s because, with traditional publishing, most writers are somewhat shielded from the number of people whose work touches their book somewhere along the line. And now that authors are pressured to think about promoting their own books, they’re even more aware of how much work it takes to actually get people to buy.

There persists this romantic fantasy of the writer as a loner, holed up in his/her writing cave, emerging to deliver a masterpiece to the publisher, then retreating once again to remain forever invisible while the book took care of selling itself.

It got me to thinking about one of the truths of publishing that doesn’t seem to be addressed or acknowledged often enough:

Publishing is a collaborative art.

We have this fantasy of a book as the product of a single brilliant individual. I think we all love this fantasy, the readers most of all. Even those of us involved in the business of creating books can succumb to it – because after all, it’s the writer on whom everything hinges.

The book is primarily the product of you, the author. But in general, I’d say that most books end up to be roughly 75% the author, 25% everyone else involved in bringing the book to market.

Yes, you may spend months or years of your life digging that book up from deep down inside you, and wrestling it to the page. You may have birthed it in pain and agony. You’ve given it your all.

But when you’re done with it:

→ An editor will edit it.
→ A copyeditor will copyedit.
→ A proofreader will proofread.
→ A designer will design and typeset the interior.
→ Another designer will create a cover.
→ A marketing team strategize and execute a marketing plan.
→ A publicist will promote it.
→ A sales team will pitch it to buyers.
→ A printing company will print your book.
→ Bookstores will sell your book.

By the time your book arrives in the hands of a consumer, dozens of people have played an important role in getting it there.

You’re the most important part of this collaborative team. Without you, no one else on the team has a job.

But it’s good for us to remember the collaborative nature of this art, this business. Don’t get too used to the fantasy of the solo artist in a cave, toiling alone. If that’s the life you want, well, not even self-publishing will provide that for you. If you want the lone ranger life, you and your family members may be the only ones reading your book.

→ Have you thought about the collaborative nature of publishing a book? Are you okay with it?

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  • http://www.susiefinkbeiner.wordpress.com Susie Finkbeiner

    Whew! I’m more than okay with the collaboration. It takes a whole bunch of pressure off. As the youngest of 4, I’m not used to doing ANYTHING on my own. I find comfort in knowing the amount of support a writer needs in order to successfully publish.

    • http://thejaimereports.blogspot.com Jaime Wright

      I COUNT on the collaborative effort. It will be a huge asset when/if I’m published and it’s so much more FUN to work with a team of people who BELIEVE in something.

  • PeggyJKennedy

    Yes, I think most people would prefer to have a team working with them on a project. A group of brains is always better than one.

  • http://careann.wordpress.com Carol J. Garvin

    That’s why we try so hard to engage just the right agent to get things rolling. :)

  • http://oneblessingaday.blogspot.com/ Tianyu L.

    It’s sort of magical how it all pulls together, isn’t it?

    I imagine no matter how publishing change, how advanced technological tools become, there will still be need for human to human connections to make the final magic happen.

    Until the day comes when books write themselves that is. :)

  • http://abookagirlajourney.blogspot.com Jennie Bennett

    You know it’s crazy to think that so many fall to the myth of one writer doing it all on their own. All one needs to do is glance at an acknowledgment page to see how many people are involved.

    Even though I’m just beginning my first round of edits I’ve had help in the form of support systems and other kinds of artists who inspire. Not to mention that quite often brilliant ideas stem from something seen, read, or heard.

    The credit belongs to so many individuals it would completely arrogant for an Author to take credit for it all, and I can’t see many people wanting to work with someone who thinks that highly of themselves.

  • http://crowproductions.com joan Cimyotte

    The temptation to try self publishing is strong. So after you hit the button on Amazon you still don’t have anything. The difficult part is no one sees it. They advise self promotion. They even offer for a small fee (not so small to me) for editing and all the things on your list again for a small fee. I don’t see any gain here. I choose to go the old fashioned rout by querying agents. That is a difficult path as well. I think someone will want to see my work. It’s a story I would read.

  • http://jomurphey.blogspot.com Jo Murphey

    Yep, the Lone Ranger syndrome is rampant. The amount of work a self-published author goes through to is wearing a bunch of hats and doing a whole lot of jobs they may not be experienced enough to handle.

    Even when you know the business like I do, it’s still difficult at best being self-published. One day I will be traditionally published again, but it’s me holding me back rather than not having offers. Which is a big difference from other authors.

  • http://abookagirlajourney.blogspot.com Jennie Bennett

    It’s hard to believe that so many fall for the myth of the writer doing it all on their own, all one needs to do is glance at an acknowledgement page to see how many people are involved.

    Even though I’m just beginning my first round of edits, so many people have influenced me, a strong network of friends, and other artists who inspire me.

    Not to mention that most brilliant ideas stem from something, seen, read, or heard.

    Any author who would take full credit for the production of their novel would be arrogant beyond belief, and I can’t imagine many would want to work with someone like that.

  • http://www.TheSolomonPress.com Samuel

    I think its relevant to point out the collaborative effort that should also accompany this undertaking-

    the author contributing to the marketing effort by going to book signings, speaking, conventions, etc. Writing the document isn’t the only job the author must be prepared for

  • http://www.TheSolomonPress.com Samuel

    as to your questions, I will say that I do not look forward to things like edits I don’t agree with or covers that look stupid, but maybe I’ll get lucky…

  • http://www.pointsofprue.com Prue

    ok with it? I can’t wait :)

  • http://jennieallen.com Jennie Allen

    I have felt this. I can’t believe how long it all takes and how many people are all working on these projects. I feel so blessed to have team in this.

  • http://luplun.blogspot.com LupLun

    Fine with me. A, I don’t have time to do all that stuff. B, how am I going to produce the best work I can when there’s noone between me and the reader beating me up to fix what’s wrong with the story?

    -LupLun
    Lupines and Lunatics

  • http://nancysthompson.blogspot.com/ Nancy S. Thompson

    THAT is exactly why I only want to do this the traditional way. I’ll do what I do & let the experts do their magic. I hope I get that chance someday!

    Thanks again for another perfect post.

  • http://weavingataleortwo.blogspot.com/ Donna K. Weaver

    And the marketing. Ugh for the marketing.

  • http://www.thejellybeansofwriting.blogspot.com Krista McLaughlin

    I’m glad that it’s a collaborative effort. I don’t think I would survive in a cave after delivering my novels. There would probably be too many spiders or something. :) I think it’s important for authors to know that they aren’t alone with publishing. I know that it makes me feel better!

  • http://keligwyn.wordpress.com Keli Gwyn

    I used to work for a small textbook publishing company as an assistant editor so I saw firsthand how many people help get a book into the readers’ hands. Lots! I’m grateful for my Dream Team who is working hard to get my book ready for its debut.

  • http://dailydramaofanaspiringwriter.blogspot.com Murees Dupé

    I used to think of the solo artist thing but lately I welcomed the thought of help. I think it is very awesome of you to break it down for us like this. I know I truly appreciate the information. A marketing team? One can only dream…

  • http://www.rosemarygemmell.com Rosemary Gemmell

    Definitely prefer a collaborative approach. My first historical novel came out with a small publisher in May and they werer excellent, providing an editor and cover artist. But I do have to do most of the promotion/marketing myself and that’s so time-consuming. At least with a mainstream, traditional publisher I might reach more readers!

  • http://thefivedollars.blogspot.com Ellen

    I’m five months away from my book’s release and pleasantly thrilled with the collaborative nature of what we’re working on now, from edits to cover design and marketing plan. Yes, I still have to do a lot. They aren’t paying for a 30-state book tour and arranging for lucrative speaking engagements. But it’s a great feeling to get an e-mail from some person at the publishing house who says, “I’m doing such and such on your book.” I feel like finally, this book is out of the shadows and into the light. It’s kind of like dropping your kid off at preschool for the first time. After three years of all the child care being on YOU, suddenly you have helpers who have the same goal as you do–to nurture your baby. And after hearing my author-dad’s frustration with a publishing house that was a little disorganized, with many staff changes, etc., I’m especially happy that my house seems to employ top-notch people who give every author plenty of attention. It’s a joy…sheer joy.

  • Jonathan

    I’m not only okay with it, I’m anxious to start it. I recognize that it will take another eye to see some things and another opinion to fix some things to make it sellable. I am a little apprehensive about what changes could be requested because there are always some aspects of the story I feel are important that should be exactly as they are, but I believe those won’t be requested to be changes.

  • http://www.wizardofotin.blogspot.com otin

    collaboration means that someone will read my novel…I am definitely okay with that. :)

  • http://tusenordmalin.blogspot.com/ Malin Larsson

    The lonesome ranger is a very annoying stereotype in general, in my view. I’m not that kind of writer, and I sure don’t want to be alone when publishing my writing. I can’t wait to have SOMEONE to share my strife with, who will be (almost) as invested in my works as I am.

  • http://spbowers.blogspot.com/ s.p.bowers

    You didn’t even mention crit groups and beta readers that have a huge impact on our stories from very early on.

    I can’t imagine trying to do this alone.

  • http://www.sueharrison.com Sue Harrison

    Here’s to all those who take my poor words and slap, carve and meld them into something readable. Here’s to the geniuses of marketing, PR, and mindreading who get those words into the hands of readers. Thank you more than words can say.

  • http://amysorrells.wordpress.com Amy K. Sorrells

    All I can say is thank goodness! The more I
    write the more I find I do (and will) need me a village of Tontos!

  • http://jkbooklover.wordpress.com/ JaimeKristal

    I had better be okay with it considering I want to be an editor or a publicist! *L0L*

  • http://heathersunseri.blogspot.com Heather Sunseri

    I’m so ready for “my team” to form.

  • http://thoughtsthatmove.blogspot.com/ Wendy

    Not only am I okay with it, I’m rooting for it. I want the team. I want the dream. Claiming this doesn’t get old for me. I’m open to other options, but I see the value in collaboration.
    ~ Wendy

  • http://www.sarahanneloudinthomas.wordpress.com Sarah Thomas

    Growing up I definitely had the romantic notion of Jo in her attic with ink-stained fingers finally tying her pages up in a ribbon and sending them off to a publisher. I also dreamed of having at least three children and being a ballerina in my free time. No ink-stained fingers, no kids, no tutus. And I’m relieved. My new dream is of an amazing collaborative team that will help shape my words and ideas so they reach the people they can benefit most. A fine fantasy, I think!

  • http://lynneconnolly.com Lynne Connolly

    But the editor, cover artist and so on are working for the publishing house, not you. They want to see a book that will sell and that will fit into the publisher’s marketing and planning strategies.
    It’s turning a work of creation into a commercially viable product. A product that will be consumed, not a book that will be read.
    Now I’m okay with that, but not okay enough to think that these people are collaborating with me. Hopefully they’re helping me turn my book into a better book, but it’s that definition of “better” that can be problematic.
    In film, we’ve had enough Director’s Cuts, good and bad, to know there are always alternatives, and those alternatives aren’t always good ones.
    I do prefer the traditional way of producing a book, but I’m not as confident as some.
    Writers – don’t be humble. Don’t be arrogant, either, but know your worth and know what you will compromise on, and what you won’t. Sometimes the only person on your side is your agent.

  • http://www.bydavidklein.com David Klein

    Not am I only okay with the collaborative effort it takes to publish a book, I’m thankful for it. Yes, as an author I must do more to promote my books, but I’d be nowhere without my agent, editor, copyeditor, designers, publicist and everyone else on the publisher’s team.

  • http://www.robynbradley.com/ Robyn Bradley

    My book is my baby, and you know the saying about the fact it takes a village to raise a child.

    I self-publish, and I outsource 95 percent of the list (I’m my own marketing team) because most of those things — like designing cover art — are not my strengths. The mistake I see too many self-pubbed authors make is trying to do everything on the list themselves. Now, I know money is a concern for many…but I think folks can do a disservice to their books if they try to handle everything (i.e. most things that fall outside of their talents) on their own. My advice: save up for those critical things (copy editing, proofing, and cover art especially) before releasing your book.

    There’s a reason it takes a publishing house 18-24 months (and a good chunk of change) to bring a book to market (well, I don’t think it needs to take THAT long, especially now that eBooks are around, but I can understand why it used to).

    We might be lone rangers during the art-making part, but when it comes to the business side of selling our art, we all need help (traditional and self-pubbed writers alike).

  • http://charitywrites.blogspot.com Charity Bradford

    It’s what I crave! Now I have a few critique partners who are great, but I still look at my WIP and think, “Why can’t I see that one thing that it still needs?”

    A whole team of people looking over it brings more questions which spark those unique ideas. I can’t wait and hope it happens to me one day!

  • http://brickabrackandbaubles.blogspot.com BJ Pramann

    I don’t know what I would do with out the people who have helped me with my book and writing process over the years and I’ve not even got an agent yet!

  • Loree Huebner

    I’ve always loved teamwork. I think it’s an important part of life…and publishing. I’m fine with it.

  • Gwen Stewart

    Anybody remember that movie “Amadeus” from the 80s? In one scene, a colleague of Mozart’s groans with amazement–and jealousy–to learn that Mozart rarely edited his compositions, writing them perfectly the first time, with no mistakes, as if the music came from Heaven itself.

    I think we watch movies like that and form perceptions about the creative process, just as you said, Rachelle. The truth is that a Mozart comes around about every…oh, five hundred years or so. The rest of us need help, and benefit from help. And just as I think God gifts writers, musicians, and artists to create, He gifts others to interpret the creation, not only to the creator, but to and for the world. That’s how I see editors, music and art critics, producers, publishers, etc. Their input and expertise is not to be taken for granted, IMO, but is a critical part of the creative process.

    Great post, as always!

  • http://hilarey.com Hilarey

    Rachelle, in the list of collaborators–did you leave off the agent intentionally?

  • http://sharonalavy.com Sharon A Lavy

    I am blessed by mentors. Couldn’t do without them.

    This blog is one of them. =)

  • http://www.shannondittemore.com Shannon Dittemore

    The idea of a dozen different brains and hands working on my book gives me a sense of security. While there are no guarantees, those touching it make the book better and that does nothing but increase my confidence. Thank you for the post, Rachelle. I’ve never wanted to be a Lone Ranger and you’ve reminded me why. God bless.

  • http://www.supamomthoughts.blogspot.com Angie Dicken

    I am excited for that process to occur some day! I have learned in my leadership roles and my college days, how important it is to have many hands in a project to make it successful. To tackle it alone would be stressful and risk the chance of a step not getting done well.
    Would love to know if it is appropriate for an author to suggest ideas for a cover?

  • http://jilldomschot.blogspot.com Jill

    I have a good friend who has been self-publishing for years. She does everything–editing, marketing, book covers. She claims she would never bother w/ mainstream publishing. But she has the ability to do it all. In addition, she has a niche market. If I self-published, I wouldn’t be able do it all. I would hire an editor and an artist and buy all kinds of books on marketing. Ultimately, it would end up being a control issue. And do I want/need to be in control of every aspect? This is a tough question, and one I’m mulling over in my mind.

    And to be honest, the question of maintaining control isn’t the most important. The bigger issue for me is the need to feel capable of writing a readable book on my own. If an editor is forced to find my plot holes, my awkward writing, my malaprops, I wonder if I’m really ready to publish. For example, I feel great satisfaction in having completely rewritten one of my WIPS. If an editor had suggested the changes, would I feel the same satisfaction? Am I just being prideful?

    I have so many people whispering in my ear, insisting I self-publish, and an equal number of friends advising me to exhaust traditional sources first. I feel torn.

  • http://jessehelmes@wordpress.com jesse

    I guess that makes being a writer similar to being the lead singer of a band. Sure, it’s your face up there, maybe you even come up with all the lyrics, but those other guys are pretty important too (except maybe the bassist).

  • Cindy

    The collaboration begins way before an editor sees a manuscript, with critique partners and possibly an agent offering editorial advice. I couldn’t imagine being without them…

    But a couple of the self-published authors I know don’t even work with critique groups or beta readers. I don’t understand the attitude of not wanting to polish your work to make it the best it can be (I do understand, of course, that this is not the case of many self-pubbers.)

  • http://www.novelnatterings.com Lisa Marie

    My personal thoughts: It’s impossible to write a publishable book completely on one’s own. There may be a handful of savants who can do it. I don’t know. I think of how the editors with whom I’ve worked have polished and shaped my print articles. In some cases, I’ll look at the finished piece, and it’s an astounding 50 percent better simply because they rearranged a few grafs, turned compound sentences into simple ones and caught my inadvertent use of passive voice. I don’t know why anyone would have a problem with collaboration unless they simply cannot play well with others or have control issues. The goal is to make the best product possible, right?

    But I would also argue that there’s another “collaborator” — the book buyers. The most important group of people. Whenever I draft an outline of a book (I write contemporary romance), I ask myself, “Is this something that a lot of women will want to read?” This forces me to view my work from a critical objective distance. Self-indulgent writing is rarely good writing.

  • http://www.pubmission.com/blog Wolf Hoelscher

    I try to cover this ad nauseam on my blog as well. Once you put on a self-publishing hat, you have to be prepared to become a business owner. Any good business owner should know that you can’t do it all on your own.

    Plus, my free time just to write is limited. I’d rather focus that time on writing rather than on editing, design, marketing, sales…

  • http://ibischild.blogspot.com marion

    I’m one of those weird people that usually reads the author acknowledgement page/s–where the author thanks their editor, agent, Aunt Bernadette, massage therapist, etc. So I know it’s a collaborative effort.
    If I’m lucky enough to get published, I hope I can keep my acknowledgements down to no more than 2 pages!

    Funny you should mention the Lone Ranger. I mentioned him in my most recent blog post.

  • http://reflectionsbykrista.blogspot.com Krista Phillips

    I’m excited at the thought of the collaborative nature of publishing!!! Okay, so I’m a little quiet at first in person, but I LOVE people and I LOVE working with people… and I am so very cognoscente of the fact that I am NOT perfect and my work will need many other hands to help make it the best it can be when it is published!

  • Alison

    I look forward to being part of a collaborative team. I thrive on it in my day job, and I hope I have the chance someday to be part of the team that will guide me in my writing career. I can’t think of anything more exciting!

  • http://straightfromhel.blogspot.com Helen Ginger

    I think writers today are thinking publishing a book is a solo process because of the term “self-published.” You are quite right that even self-publishing, either in print or e-form, is not a one-person job for the vast majority of us.

  • Justajo

    This is a toughie. My wife thinks I don’t need anyone. “You’re an excellent writer just as you are and don’t need others to tell you this or that.” She thinks I am wasting my time reading blogs like this and about other authors and what they are doing. Makes it very difficult to remain my own person and I shouldn’t even be telling you or anyone here because you can’t do a danged thing about it.

  • http://refreshmentrefuge.blogspot.com Gina Burgess

    And yet…

    I have seen the miss-mash some editors have made.
    I have seen the typo some proofreaders have missed.
    I have been appalled at the design of some interiors and choked at some of the covers with false advertising on the back cover.

    The thing is no one is perfect which is why a team is so much better than just one pair of eyes and one head thinking, why the author can’t really give up 5,000 words from his baby, but an editor can see how much the lighter load reads.

    In this world nothing except a sunset is truly free, and a best-seller is much more than a literary work of art.

  • http://byline.peterdehaan.name/ Peter DeHaan

    I like the idea of having a team work on making my book the best it can be.

    However, until I find an agent or publisher, I am that solo writer.

  • http://vvdenman.com V.V. Denman

    I’ve toiled in my cave long enough. It’s getting lonely in here.

  • http://www.johnstipa.com John Stipa

    It would be a fantasy come true to walk into a conference room with all the people you mentioned to have a strategy session about my book.

    I have my own “team” made up of daughters, friends and cyber acquaintances – and I love them – but still…..

  • http://www.rikweb.co.uk Rik Roots

    Can I be in the minority here, please, and say that I like being a ‘lone ranger’ author. Even though my book sales suggest I’m being stupid, I really enjoy writing, editing, proofreading, formatting (for hardcopy and eCopy versions), cover design, webcoding, coming up with wacky promotional ideas and, yes, moaning about how hard the work is with others.

    But then, for me, it’s the fun of the journey that is most important, not the pot of gold (and acclamation) at the end of the rainbow.

  • Karen

    None of us are an island unto ourselves. Having several people working on a manuscript/book is wonderful. They know their craft and add it to mine so that the finished product comes out in an artful way!

  • http://jpkurzitza.com JP Kurzitza

    Well at least we won’t have to worry about the last two cogs of the “collaborative process” in the near future…

  • http://www.chickswithchoices.com Kim Galgano

    Breaking it down, as you did, was beautiful and true to all of life. Within my four walls so often, I’m looking forward to collaborating today.

  • LLKing

    This is the collaborative nature of publishing that attracts me to it.

  • http://www.irenepeterson.com Irene

    There is no way I can do all this by myself, no matter how the promise of big bucks is dangled in front of my eyes. I admit I need a publisher behind me, taking up the slack, taking care of the things I cannot do for myself. Agents were made by God to help writers who are usually so wrapped up in creating, the real world is very, very far away.
    I know how to autograph books…what will happen if all the bookstores go away? Can’t autograph an eReader, now, can we? More to worry about.

  • http://www.lexirevellian.com Lexi Revellian

    I’m going to be a lone voice here. I wrote my books, edited and proofread them, learned how to format, designed the covers, and loaded them to Amazon all on my own. (My thanks go to a dozen terrific beta readers.) I enjoyed all of it, and didn’t have to make any compromises. I can track my sales on Amazon, whereas if I had a publisher, they’d get access to that information and I wouldn’t.

    I released my first novel in August, and the second in April. I’ve sold over 38,000 books.

    It worked for me.

  • http://refreshmentrefuge.blogspot.com Gina Burgess

    In an ideal world it would be great. But, this isn’t an ideal world, and I’d had to be the Lone Ranger for my book pub’d by Westbow Press.

    Selling/Marketing the book is a 24/7 job and really needs more hours in the day.

  • http://carolriggs.blogspot.com Carol Riggs

    Yeah! I’ve always thought of it more of a lone-ranger sorta thing too. But now that I have an agent and her feedback has made my novel SO infinitely much better, I’m beginning to see what you’re describing here. And I’m okay with it. At least for now, since I agree with all the suggested changes. LOL

  • Suzanne

    As a former athlete, I love the idea of a team effort. I’m not quite sure what it would look like because I’m rather new to this whole realm, but the more the merrier I say. Thanks for the solid perspective!

  • http://www.allthingssouthern.com Shellie Tomlinson

    Great post,Rachelle. Having worn ALL the hats in the self-pub world before working with a traditional publisher, I’ve been more than delighted to share the load and the accolades with the many wise and talented people who bring my books to the readers! Having said that, my biggest surprise after selling my first nonfiction was that I couldn’t rest on my promoting laurels and expect Penguin to do all of the heavy lifting. Once I took those rose colored blinders off, I believe we’ve made a great team.

    (On an aside, I was turned on to your site via Greg and Julie and I’m so glad to have found it. You do important work here. Thanks!)

  • http://rachelwilder.net Rachel Wilder

    I am totally okay with the collaborative aspect of publishing. It makes me a better writer. I’m still unpubbed and un-agented (though I hope to change the latter within the next year), so I haven’t had the full experience.

    But I get it some with my crit partners. They see things I don’t. They suggest things that get me thinking of things I can’t see on my own.

    I look forward to the day I get to work with an editor and make my work shine.

  • Gibson

    I think its kind of like Nolan’s Batman. Batman does the work himself arguably, but at the same time, other people help him.

    There’s the gear/equipment, given by Lucius Fox.

    There’s the police/SWAT team.

    And there’s Jim Gordon.

    I think a writer can be a lone ranger in so far as they understand an editor will change things and there are other changes to be made by the “book-making” team.

  • http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com Glen Strathy

    Some of the best plays, films, or other works of art I’ve ever seen have been one person’s vision – a director, writer, choreographer, etc. And yet, they all required the talents of others. The right balance exists, but where? Hopefully, the writer is the one with the best vision for a work, but marketers often have the most clout.

  • http://julienilson.wordpress.com Julie Nilson

    Funny, I was just reading an interview with Sherman Alexie, where he talks about how he’s decided to stop writing screenplays because all the collaboration and input from others makes writing more difficult. He said he prefers to write stories because the process is simpler: “I write a book, and it gets published.” And I thought, “Maybe that’s how it works when you’re Sherman Alexie.”

  • http://www.melissacrandall.com Melissa Crandall

    To me, the collaborative aspect of writing is part of the joy of being a writer. I have been fortunate to work with some very talent, astute people who have helped to make my book even better than I could imagine. They have sweat as much blood and tears over the project as I put into it, and there is no amount of thanks great enough. These people rock!

  • http://danielclarkesmith.blogspot.com Dan Smith

    I’m OK with the collaborative nature of publishing. The problem is, as you know, there is a very small keyhole through which an author has to pass before that collaboration is possible. Are agents and publishers setting speed records looking for unpublished authors? No, and for good reasons. The aspiring author can do one of several things: hire editors, cover artists and self publish; wait for the magical tap on the shoulder after submitting hundreds of queries; follow the example of John Kennedy Toole and publish posthumously.

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