I went to lunch yesterday with my agent, Don Maass, and my friend and Del Rey publishing maven, Shelly Shapiro. We were celebrating the book deal (Shelly was the one who suggested I talk to Don about representing me.) It was a real treat. The two of them have over a half century combined experience in New York publishing. I did the smartest thing I could do and kept as quiet as possible. The conversation was wide ranging and touched on all facets of publishing and of the many things discussed, one simple idea rose above all the others:
ALWAYS be writing the next book. Of all the things a writer can do, especially a new one, from websites to book signings, the single most important task to creating and maintaining a career is to be always writing the next book. Nothing is as important. Careers, almost without exception, are built on longevity and productivity. For every flash in the pan that rockets to stardom there are thousands and thousands that will climb the publishing mountain one step at a time. Those that reach the top, or even close enough to see the summit, do it by writing book after book after book…and learning from each one as they go.
Oh yeah, and the further apart the tables are in a restaurant, the more expensive the meal while the portions are correspondingly smaller (thanks to Don for that observation 🙂