Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Right Place at the Right Time

This week has seen the final touches applied to both North Devon Place Names and South Devon Place Names, while Dorset Place Names will also be printed and packed up before the end of this week. As the end of the calendar year approaches so does the deadlines to finish the final two books for which I have contracts.

Next week I shall be delivering the three finished manuscripts and illustrations, while continuing on to Somerset to spend a couple of days seeking out 40 or 50 decent illustrations and those snippets and anecdotal gems which make a book out of what would otherwise be a dictionary of place names.

I have also been invited to speak at another three venues, a local history group in Staffordshire in March, a group of metal detectorists at the beginning of February, and I am to be on the list for the 14th Annual Literary Festival in Wellington, Shropshire in October of next year.

This week I also learned, albeit probably later than most authors, that Amazon have introduced Kindle Stores, a way for authors to list their work digitally. The eBook can then be uploaded on payment of an agreed amount - not all have to be books, of course, articles, poems, songs, music, jokes, even money-saving tips. Rest assured I shall be investigating the potential here and reporting back for like all authors I have a number of items which I consider worthy of publication but have yet to find the right niche.

Often that is the case, not that the piece is substandard but is being offered to the wrong place and/or at the wrong time. Some years ago I had had a book proposal accepted, contracts signed, written and page proofs had even been printed and edited. It was when we were clearing up the final queries that something interesting came to light. Among the paperwork for the book proposal I found a letter of mine offering the idea for that book to the same publisher. Pinned to the back was a polite rejection of the idea, dated nine months before the idea was accepted. Even more surprising the letter came from the same person working at the same company. Which proves if you are satisfied you cannot improve upon the piece and still keep receiving rejections no matter how well you tailor your writing to suit the publication or publisher, it still has to be looked at by the right person at the right time.

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