I'm surprised that the "letter" managed to miss an all-important question which I believe all novelists ask themselves, whether they admit to it or not:
Will anybody care?
I don't believe writers write in a vacuum. If they write, it's because they want someone to read what they've written. If no one wants to read your book--if no one will buy it--it does two things to a writer: It breaks down a great deal of the confidence that was built up in order to write it; and it forces the writer to consider whether all that effort, no matter how good, no matter how enjoyable, was worth it.
After writing a number of novels, I firmly believe that I know how to do it right. But lack of interest and lack of sales does more to discourage me, and prevent my bothering to write the next novel, than all of the other points in that letter combined. (It still may prevent me from writing the novel I'm actually developing right now; at any moment, I might "come to my senses" and pull the plug.) If that letter had been written to me, and it did not touch upon that point, it would be essentially worthless to me.
As an aside, Roz might have also asked Lucy if she was comfortable with the state of publishing, the industry turmoil she'd be injecting herself into, the multiple channels of the ebook industry she may have to master, the likelihood that ebook piracy would rob her of some amount of possible profit, etc. All of that has been known to sink many a prospective author before they'd sailed.
Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 06-21-2012 at 09:43 AM.