'Gather a few authors together in a room and does the conversation veer towards culture, philosophy, art…literature? No, it does not. It focuses on complaints — publicists, publishers, party invitations (lack of), editors and of course…earnings. '
'One of the reasons that people don’t realise how little money there is, is because — until they are published and they find out — writers don’t often put a number on it. It’s embarrassing, how little you got paid for the thing that you worked so hard on.'
'Publication is wonderful — both euphoric and humbling, and I’ve been dazed by it each time. But in the days and weeks that follow a book’s release, I feel a strange sadness. As if something had physically left me, that I looked for but couldn’t find.'
'His instructions were clear. On no account was he to read any of the manuscripts. His job was to open the envelopes, riffle through the pages to give the impression that someone had read them, and then put the envelope back in the post to the author.'
'As he grabbed a handful of crisps he delivered possibly one of the most insightful and concise critiques of my work I have ever received. ‘It’s alright. You know. When you’re reading it.’ (It’s possible, dear listener, I exaggerated the Birmingham accent).'
'No one tells you that the generous and complimentary reviews in the literary pages will pass unnoticed by your friends and relatives, but one condescending remark will somehow be seen by everyone, and their commiserations will haunt you for decades. '
'No one tells you that, having acquired an agent, you haven’t got it made: that even a top agent from a well-established firm can send your book round all the publishers and get a resounding No. That even when you’ve rewritten, the answer is still No.'
'With the exception of some very big names and some airport novels, there is simply no money in books. This has corroded pretty much every professional publishing relationship: that of writer to agent, agent to publisher, and publisher to writer and bookseller.'
'Generally, editors only call you if there is good news. So, if they don’t call, that could mean nothing is happening. Left alone with no idea, your imagination begins to work overtime. The book you cared about so passionately, is dying on its feet.'
'The business side of things – knowing how to file your taxes, claim back your expenses, or manage your income – is more important than you think. Writing is a craft and an art, but being a writer is a job. The worker needs to eat.'