Being fairly new to publishing and coming from the educational environment, I have to share that the difference in the two industries is quite something.
Take for instance the simple word, now. Three letters and pretty easy to define, but oh how this little word means different things in different environments. Allow me to explain.
In education ‘now’ means immediately or in a worst-case scenario, yesterday! As in… it’s already too late, and we are moving on to the next issue, problem, or event. However, in publishing its meaning can fluctuate according to who is using the word–in other words, its context is somewhat fluid. If, as an author, I use the word, it can mean I would love a response in two to three months or even up to a year. If however, a publisher uses it, it can mean only one of two things, drop everything now, or drop everything now.
It has taken me a little time to go from the ‘now’ of education to the ‘now’ of publishing. Having adjusted, I have to say that I prefer the ‘now’ of publishing as frustrating at times as that choice can be, it does tend to make sure things get dealt with and not just passed over, around, or through. At the end of the day, the fluid ‘now’ will have created a tangible decision in the form of a book or an editorial change as opposed to the ‘now’ that I have left behind which was so often and tragically, ignored.
So the next time a fellow writer sends off his manuscript hoping for a response in the ‘now’ of six months, or a fellow author gets a call from his publisher asking him to peruse the changes and get back to them ‘now’, remember there is another ‘now’ out there and the one, we writers, deal with is by far the better of the two.
Roy Dimond lives with his wife in Pender Harbour, a small fishing village on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Locals call it “Penderdise.” In his first life, Roy had the honor of helping at-risk children and their families. In his second life, he pursues his love of travel and writing. Having explored four continents from Cuzco to Kyoto, Santorini to Tsumago, his wanderings have all found a way into his stories. Roy’s first book is called The Singing Bowl and is out in its Second Edition. His second novel, The Rubicon Effect is also out as is his first work of non-fiction Saving Our Pennys, co-authored with Jeff Leitch.