Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (holy-crap-how-is-it-Tuesday-already? edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.
Now I’m really pushing how late I can post something labeled with a day of the week from which we’re four days removed. *shrug*
This morning, I noticed the lady standing to my left on the Path was reading a printed manuscript. How do I know it was a manuscript? As someone who’s taken the time to learn proper formatting for submissions, I know MS formatting, and recognized the upper-right header (book title, page number, author name). Curious, I pointed to the page and asked if it was hers? She smiled, answered ‘no’, and said she worked for a publisher. I then told her I write, and asked if the MS was any good. “It’s high fantasy, which isn’t my thing, but it’s very well written.” I apologized for bothering her, to which she replied ‘No problem,’ and we went back to doing our own things. That thirty second exchange leads us to this week’s FYI:
To seize opportunities, preparedness is key. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to talk to someone, provide advice or answers, etc. Knowing how to format a manuscript is important when submitting your work to agents and publishers, but it also allowed me to recognize someone working in an industry I’m trying to break into. Nothing came of it because I’m not a pushy lout, and she and I will most-likely never see each other again, but what if after I’d told her I write she’d asked what genre and the conversation continued? Stuff like that is rare, but anything can happen.
Learning how your industry works is the best way to be ready when important moments arise. At the very least, you’ll know you’re doing everything right.
Thanks for reading,
PS – No, I’m not saying writers should ride the trains all day looking for anyone holding a printed page and attempt to land a publishing contract. Normal human decency always applies.