Mr. Horne's Book of Secrets

Pre-publication Sacrifices

It’s that time again.

I am getting ready to start sending out a new manuscript, in hopes of getting published. And that means I have to consider ways in which it will affect other parts of my life.

Because when you submit for publication, you’re not just selling a manuscript. You’re also selling yourself.

And accomplishing that requires a few sacrifices.

I always liked how they gave this guy a flower lei, as if to say “Hey, we know how hard it is to be a human sacrifice, and we just wanted you to know how much we appreciate what you’re doing for us.” Wasn’t that nice of them?

So, in preparation for this endeavor, I am going to be making a few changes to the way I do things online, and I thought I should give everyone a heads up, and also give a word of advice to other authors seeking publication, who may want to consider taking these same steps.

So here’s what I plan to do, in no particular order.

Step #1: Delete my Goodreads Account

Goodreads is a luxury that published authors can’t afford. And I’m afraid there are no exceptions. As an author, you have no business criticizing the work of other authors. It’s unprofessional. It’s bad for business. It sets you at odds with people in the publishing industry—good people who are working their hardest to put out good stuff.

Likewise, you don’t want to read the reviews people write about your books. Reading reviews of your books is a surefire way to spiral into the depths of neurosis. In some cases, it has driven authors to bouts of depression, anxiety, or even directionless fury. It is never a good idea to read reviews of your own books.

But this is no great sacrifice for me, since I have not been on Goodreads for a long, long time, and have written very little there.

Nevertheless, it must be done.

Step #2: Delete all my Tweets

My personal Twitter account has brought me a lot of fun exchanges with many people I would never otherwise be able to communicate with.

Nevertheless, my Twitter account has thus far been the property of a non-professional. The person who made those tweets did not consider himself a public figure, and while I never committed any egregious sins (for example, nothing I’ve ever tweeted would prevent me from landing an ordinary job) I have, at times, been very vocal about my opinions, and been unafraid to get into arguments, tell people they are just plain wrong, etc., etc.

It is for that reason that I will begin the process of deleting every tweet in my account, and undoing every retweet, as well.

Now, of course, the clever reader will point out that this is a futile gesture, as all of my Tweets will continue to exist in web caches (possibly forever and ever). It is conceivable, and even inevitable, that someone with too much time on their hands will try to expose me down the line.

I am not afraid of that, because this person will most likely not be a publisher, editor, or agent. And no one is going to think to comb the entirety of my Twitter feed unless I become famous. And if I do become famous, and someone does use a long-deleted tweet to attack me, then there are plenty of ways to fight back.

If I can properly show that I can reinvent myself, to prepare for publication, then that should be good enough for any good-hearted publisher to accept me.

Step #3: Delete my Steemit Account

Ha ha. Just kidding.

Steemit, as a blogging platform that records all entries in an immutable blockchain, does not allow users to delete their material, and could not, even if it wanted to.

For that reason, you don’t have to worry about me deleting my Steemit account. Likewise, there’s little point in me deleting any entries from my regular blog, because those are all co-published on Steemit. And while I’ve put forth some strong opinions on this platform, none of my posts are of such a nature that I would fear coming off as unprofessional.

Real Step #3: Keep Writing

The most essential part of waiting for an agent/publisher to pick you up.

I’m going to be starting new projects, even as I shop my current project around. That’s the realistic, pragmatic way to approach writing as a job. You’re sending dandelion seeds out into the world, and any number of them could fail to reach fertile soil, which is why you have to send as many seeds, and as many different kinds of seeds, as possible.

Hopefully, I’ll have good news to report to everyone reading this. And hopefully it will not take long. But whatever the outcome, I’m going to continue down this road.

Step #4: Stop Netflixing?

Well, I have considered it.

If I were to stop Netflixing, it would be for the same reason I’m deleting my Goodreads account: a professional writer has no business being a professional critic, also.

However, it occurs to me that the movie and TV writing worlds, while connected to the book writing world, are not inseparable. I do not ever plan on becoming a TV or movie writer, and as such I do not feel like my earnest explorations of these kinds of writing should hinder my chances (or engender much animosity) in the book writing community.

Nevertheless, I may find myself in a position where offering critiques of Netflix offerings is seen as bad form, and in that scenario, I would have to lay down the mantle of Netflixer.

So, in summary: I am not going to stop Netflixing…yet. But anything can happen.

Conclusion

Preparing to become a public figure (even a largely unknown one) requires the making of certain changes to one’s public profile. Getting into flame wars with strangers, even over innocuous subjects, has to become a thing of the past. You could say that one has to grow up before he can become a professional author. And I am ready to make that leap.

I want to thank you all for being here as I make it. You are all the best, and have won my admiration. Thank you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *