Publishing a novel

A fairly raggedy cheap brown envelope turned up on my doormat with a letter inside telling me what a good writer I was and how I should rework my manuscript to make it publishable before sending it back through the process once again.

Hmm, what to do? Take it seriously, this unsigned scrap of typed paper with a little squiggle of ink at its end?

No, not really. The MS was all but complete and I’d already spent money previously getting somebody’s expert opinion about another work I’d done…

Oh, hold on…

Way back while living in a room in West Ealing and working in a Soho clip-joint the inspiration had come upon me to write a novel and within a month the masterwork was complete. An agency wanted me to send in another piece of work.

That work was rejected out of hand.

I wrote a piece about a young man who rejected society and placed a bomb in a club exclusively for the rich.

An agent wanted me to send in something longer.

I was writing a full-length novel about living on the streets of London and another agent wanted to take me on but was prevented from doing so by her boss who was the person who had requested I send in another piece of work after reading what I had written while living in a room in West Ealing and working in a Soho clip-joint…

That work went to an agency which charged a pound a page and told me what I already knew.

In the meantime, the agent who wanted to take me on but who had been prevented from doing so by her boss opened her own agency and now didn’t want to take me on…

Later, the BBC published a piece about me concerning a person who had written a full-length novel about living on the streets of London.

The agent who had wanted to take me on while working for an agency but didn’t want to do so when she had her own agency had written to the publishing editor of a literary publishing house who had sent my manuscript about living on the streets of London to a reader who had complained that my novel was exactly what I wanted it to be: the story of a young man living on the streets of London. The editor could only concur. But he lost the manuscript and never got back to me. The agent who advised me to contact him (and who didn’t want to take me on now that she had her own agency) had previously praised him but now told me otherwise.

I had only begun to write because after leaving school with no qualifications I had worked in various non-skilled occupations and had run out of things to read; nothing on the bookshelves satisfied.

So I took a look at my opening pages of the manuscript and had it read by some people I trusted and sent it back in…

And a month or so later a letter came back saying no go…

This time it was signed; and only then did I discover that the person who had written to me previously was Jonny Geller, the agent who had just been voted the Most Influential Person in British Literature.

Why did I bother?

Novels by Glyn F Ridgley available at Amazon and bookstores worldwide

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GFR Amazon Page

 

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