I’m taking a 12,000 word nonfiction manuscript that’s growing whiskers and retelling some key parts of it as a 32-page picture book. On spec. How’s that sound? I’ve just reread the original version and am still satisfied that I did it right. It was well researched and smoothly written. I remain proud of it. But when a thing won’t sell, it won’t sell. Maybe sometime in the future I’ll find an editor who will take it on, but for now I’m following a suggestion to try a picture book on the same subject. It’s all part of the great game of writing for publication. Was it W. C. Fields who said, “We’ve already established what we are, now we’re merely haggling over the price?”
If that misses the mark, I apologize. I just happen to like that quote. Another of my favorites, which was probably pure Hollywood, was in the old film about Michelangelo played by Charlton Heston. In a pub one night a customer complained that the wine was sour. The proprietor said, “If the wine is sour, pour it out,” took a hammer to the keg, and broke it open. Whereupon the great painter returned to his work, torn up his original drawings, and started again.
So who am I to quibble over throwing out half a year’s work and starting again? Bring it on!