It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an author in possession of an idea for a book, must be in pursuit of a fortune.* Alas, the dream of a million-dollar author contract has always been hard to realize. The difference today is that the goalposts have moved.
Back in the bad old days before the Internet, an aspiring author with a dream, but no publishing industry connections, basically had one hope: to find an editor who believed in his or her story enough to publish it. A lot of people submitted their stuff “over the transom” — i.e., they sent their unsolicited manuscripts to the publishing house, where they languished in a slush pile until somebody was assigned to box them up and send them back. Occasionally, an editor would publish something out of the slush pile and make a tidy sum thereby, which reinforced the idea that it could happen, no matter how dismal the ratio of slush-pile blockbusters to returns. Continue reading “Silver Screen Dreams”