Book Trailer The Noble Train

Friday, April 6, 2012

Publishing Old Manuscripts

Everybody has them. All those books that misfired and never took off or just blew up on the launch pad. They represent years and years of toil and you would like for something to come of them because they represent your heart and soul. So in the new environment of EBooks, you think, well maybe there is something there that escaped the publishers eyes and these books should have been published except for a short sighted editor who couldn't see the diamond in the rough. And so you start tracking them down on your computers.

Usually they are a couple of computers back that you dig out of a closet and there they are; floating around your desktop like space junk. They have weird file names you started giving them after the twenty third rewrite and you have to piece them together like cars in a junkyard. Lets see, I'll use this beginning with this middle and where is the end...ah here it is. There it's a book. So you start to read your old prose. Dammit. This was good! This should have been published! And so you continue, getting excited. Yes. Yes. Readers will finally be able to discover this great story that has been stopped because of some nimrod of a publisher.

And then...somewhere along page thirty two, the thing goes off the rails. Maybe it is the tired prose, the lackluster plot. Maybe it's just sort of hackneyed and old. But there is something missing. Some bit of modernity that gives the book spark. The prose just dries up on the page and is dated and dead and the book turns back into that old manuscript in a moldy box in a basement. And you want it to be good. You really do. You want it to be the book that it could have been, but it's just not.

So you try and resucitate some others, but they fall from the sky like satellites gliding out of orbit. There were problems. There was a reason these books never saw the light of day. And even the ubiquity of e-publishing won't save them. So you pull the plug, let the dust motes settle, and throw the computer back in the corner where it belongs.

And that book stays in darkness....where it belongs.

Books by William Hazelgrove