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Customer Discussions > Michael Derek Allen forum

Your 'Rats' book

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Initial post: 28 Mar 2012 08:32:37 BDT
Hi, I just read 'Rats' on my iPad. I think I agree with almost all of it. I guess the one thing that is missing is why the self delusion so often present in the book business does not die out in the face of experience.
I spent my career in Public Health, did OK at it, got a CBE from the Queen for my efforts an a decent pension from the UK Government. Now I write novels. I do it because it gives me more fun than anything else I have come across. I've stopped sending books to agents, partly because of some of the puerile things they have said, but also because any agent with any brains will work out that I'll probably die before they can make much money out of me, so why would I want to be taken on by anyone who has no brains. Publishing on Kindle seems very easy, and even without any effort at marketing I sell a few books.
It seems likely that the book business will undergo some major transformations as a result of epublishing, the tricky thing is to guess where it will all end up.
The two biggest delusions I come across in reading 'writing' blogs and going to conferences are
1) If a book is 'good' enough it will eventually get published.
2) if a book is rejected, it is because it isn't 'good' enough.
These two notions keep aspiring authors trapped in a web of self doubt and self denigration. The thing that doesnt get said is that lots of big sellers are not 'good' books, as judged by any of the standards set by those who pontificate about such things.
Before reading your book I had come to the same conclusion, that the process was fallible and random. I've also spent at lot of time telling people to read Fooled by Randomness.
Sad to say most people don't get it, and they are put off by his smugness.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 11:36:10 BDT
Many thanks for your comments on Rats in the Slush Pile, Rod. I'm afraid I've only just seen your post, not being all that diligent at checking and not as skilled in the tech as I might be. Yes, you are absolutely right on all counts.

I expect I made this point in Rats, but perhaps the pithiest summary of my views on randomness is here:

Best wishes


ps let me know when you publish another. The first is on my reading list.
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Discussion in:  Michael Derek Allen forum
Participants:  2
Total posts:  2
Initial post:  28 Mar 2012
Latest post:  31 May 2012

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