If Will S. were around today, would he have trouble getting published? Would he be getting this type of letter?
Dear Mr. Shakespeare:
Although we find your concept for Hamlet interesting, in today’s market we would have a difficult time promoting it. The writing could be tighter and more upbeat. Also, Hamlet meeting the ghost of his father is out. Now if you could rewrite it with his father returning as a vampire, I think we would reconsider it. Have you considered a trilogy? Those sell well these days. Perhaps something like Blood of Hamlet, Hamlet's Revenge and Hamlet, The Final Chapter.
Fifth editorial assistant
Such a letter may have given new meaning to “Lord, what fools these mortals be.” Luckily, Will didn't have to go through this nonsense to get his work out there. His plays were performed by a troupe called Lord Chamberlain’s Men, owned by Shakespeare and the players. Certainly not self-publishing in the modern sense, but he did control his own destiny.
Catch you later…