What not to do

Courtesy of The Nervous Breakdown, 50 Things Publishers Shouldn’t Do, and 50 Things Writers Shouldn’t Do.

For publishers:

  • Don’t send royalty statements six weeks late.
  • Don’t let poorly copyedited books go out the door. This is a huge annoyance to me. Half the books I read seem to have typos or punctuation errors in them. Christ, give the intern one last go at it.
  • Don’t publish debuts in HC—TPO is the way to go!
  • Jump into the pool if you want to use social media. If your writers are beating you to the punch, then what are you there for? I just learned that a writer I like has written enough of a new novel to give some preliminary readings. Now I even know what the title of the novel will be. For a fan this is great. But did I learn this from the publisher? No. I learned it from the writer’s Facebook page. Does Facebook mean that publishers don’t need to have marketing departments anymore? You tell me.


For writers:

  • Don’t show off, it doesn’t serve the story.
  • Don’t start your story with a character alone in a room unless you’re Kafka and your character is going to turn into a bug.
  • If I send you books to be signed, as I’m a collector of first editions, and you said you’d do it, then you better do it. And respond to my email where I ask if you got the books. You’re just a writer after all. No one is on the operating table.
  • Don’t write something where nothing happens. This ain’t Godot. Make something happen. If you find you don’t have enough material, try microblogging instead.


Et cetera.


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