Tuesday, July 15, 2014

10 Things to Make a More Perfect Literary World

1. If my plumber charges me $900 for four hours work, I think I should get the same for writing a book. Only seems fair.

2. In the same vein, publishers will acquire books from writers, pay them a good advance and then publicize the books. If publishers want to send writers bonuses for doing their own publicity, that’ll work too.

3. People who love popular fiction, “50 Shades of Gray,” comic books, romance novels and the like will stop apologizing for doing so. If you love a good book, it’s a good book. Period. And they will stop calling it trash!

4. Oh that note, reviewers will review books that readers love, including popular fiction, “50 Shades of Gray,” comic books, romance novels and the like.

5. Self-published authors will understand that everyone needs an editor — and get one.

6. Like most creative arts, there’s enough to go around. Writers will stick together and help each other out.

7. I have to pay my electric bill, mortgage, car note — you name it — every month. Publishers will mail out royalty checks that often too.

8. No one will ever recount the entire plot of their novel to me again. That’s why they call it reading. A sentence or two or three is OK. Something along the lines of “It’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’ in outer space” is even better.

9. No one will ever tell me about their great idea and then ask that I write it for them, splitting the proceeds. That’s why it’s called writing. Sit in a chair before a computer and get to work. P.S. If you find someone to do this for you, let me know. I expect it will snow in Haiti that day.

10. Everyone needs support. Everyone has value. I will open my email and see those freelance writing newsletters announcing magazines and web sites looking for “writers with extensive experience” and pay a wage above $20 an article.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana,” both from The History Press, and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.