You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold.

I’ve reached the end of Heinlein’s Rules. Though, I somehow feel I’m still at the beginning.

The world is different than it was when Heinlein wrote his “rules.” But I think I can apply this one as an independent publisher.

Here’s how:

Keep my work on the market! Ha.  Seriously, all I have to is just leave my books on the market. In today’s world, the work will not go out of print. It will sell. It has sold. All I have to do to follow #5, is keep it there.

And what if I decide to go down the Traditional Publishing route?

I’m going to remember my hero’s story:

I’m not sure I’m interested in  traditionally publishing my book length works, but I am considering hopping on the submittal train with short stories.  And I’ll keep Burke’s story in mind, if I do.  Hell, who am I kidding, he’s a hero for a reason. His story of persistence works for any route in a writer’s career…hell for any pursuit.

And it is the perfect depiction of Heinlein’s Rule #5 in action.

I’m still early into this, but this rule seems simple. If you’re further down the road and I’m missing something that makes this rule difficult, PLEASE SHARE.



My work on the market:

Everything is Broken


North County Girl


2 thoughts on “You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold.

  1. The only extra I will add is from DWS: “Keep it on the market” also means keep it in the mail (on the market, available) until it sells. If you receive a rejection, send it right back out to the next place.


    1. Yep, that’s pretty prevalent in the article on Burke, that is linked. Thanks, Harvey. “I started writing and attempting to publish when I was 19. And by age 20 I worked briefly offshore, 10 days on the water, back on land for five days, and during those five days I would write, write, write. I rented a mailbox, and I would send my stories, and I guess some poems, to magazines all over Canada and the United States. Then I would go back on the quarter boat, and come back 10 days later, and my rejections would be waiting for me in the mailbox. But I learned a system and I’ve followed it ever since: Never let a manuscript stay at home longer than 36 hours. It’s that simple. You keep it in the mail, and if you do not you are ensured to fail.” — James Lee Burke.


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