A Philosophy to Write By - Part IIII

If you missed Part I,II,III Click Here to Read it first.

By: Jeff Herman

Attacking Problem No. 4: No One at the Publishing House Seems to Be Listening to You

This happens a lot—though I bet it happens to certain people in everything they do. The primary reasons for this situation are either 1) that the people you’re trying to access are incompetent; 2) that you’re not a priority for them; or 3) that they simply hate talking to you.

Here are a few things you might try to do about it:

• If the contact person is incompetent, what can that person really accomplish for you anyway? It’s probably best to find a way to work around this person, even if he begins to return your calls before you place them.

• The people you want access to may be just too busy to give you time. Screaming may be a temporary remedy, but eventually, they’ll go deaf again. Obviously, their time is being spent somewhere. Thinking logically, how can you make it worthwhile for these people to spend more time on you? If being a pain in the neck is your best card, then perhaps you should play it. But there’s no leverage like being valuable. In fact, it’s likely that the somewhere else they’re spending their time is with a very valuable author.

• Maybe someone just hates talking to you. That may be this person’s problem. But, as many wise men and women have taught, allies are better than adversaries. And to convert an adversary is invaluable. Do it.


This essay may come across as cynical. But I want you to be realistic and be prepared. Many publishing success stories are out there, and many of them happened because the authors made them happen.

For every manuscript that is published, probably a few thousand were rejected. To be published is a great accomplishment—and a great asset. If well tended, it can pay tremendous dividends.

Regardless of your publisher’s commitment at the outset, if you can somehow generate sales momentum, the publisher will most likely join your march to success and allocate a substantial investment to ensure it. In turn, the publisher may even assume all the credit. But so what? It’s to your benefit.

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