Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Fishing at the Book Fair

Go to the Book Fair, they said, found out about the market, they said, get a feel for what's out there, they said. Well, Books is what's out there. Piles and piles of them, none of which were being read by the hoards of people swimming around them, in tight shoals, making deals, shaking hands and then fencing themselves off after hours to drink on it. Great for reinforcing that small fish, big pond thing.

It was bewildering but saved for us fledgling writers by the mostly great seminars that took place on the periphery. The over-riding message I took home with me on the train this evening: "write the book that's inside you - stuff the market." It's good to be savvy, but if you try simply to fill a gap you'll be filling it with poor quality filler that won't weather the storm. Not sure I'm entirely confident that whatever brand of filler I eventually mix up, it won't crack at the first editorial hurdle.

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