How (not) to publish your book

Its not what you know, but who you know is what the ubiquitous ‘they’ say.  So bearing this in mind I sought  advice on how to find a publisher from  an acquaintance who happens to be a well known author.  I will call him Mr A.

Mr A gave me the name and address of his publisher who I will call Mr P.  He also suggested that, as publishers do not like unsolicited mail, I should write, quoting Mr A’s name,  and ask Mr P if I might send him my manuscript.

Mr P replied saying that the Children’s Editor (who I will call Ms CE) dealt with children’s literature and I should write to her, quoting his name, asking if I might send her my manuscript and keeping the letter short and to the point  This I did.

Ms CE wrote back (eventually) saying “I regret that we do not publish your kind of book”


I wrote again to Mr P asking how his Children’s Editor knew that she did not publish my kind of book when I had said nothing about it.  I had not mentioned the title, the plot or the age group at which it was directed.

Mr P replied that his Children’s Editor’s word was final!

The moral of this story is Its not what you know – its not who you know either.


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