The recent flap over a romance novel titled For Such a Time whose plot features a concentration camp inmate falling in love with her Nazi captor has aroused the wrath of various critics and readers on grounds that it is too discomfiting and disturbing to have been published.

After nine years with the company, the affable director of author and publisher relations is moving on, his wry honesty echoing in the industry: “The good news is that today everybody can publish a book. The bad news is that today everybody an publish a book.”

I forget my dreams now, or if I do remember, I don’t remember how it came to arrive at such a conclusion. I nap after tea. I usually have two to three cups of black tea before my nap. My naps are always messy.

Your life becomes a constant progress of trying to sleep at night and work during the day — at least until you realize the utter impossibility of that endeavor, until you surrender to the fact that you’ll wake with full intention at 11 a.m. and instead spend four hours gazing at social media for some purpose you’ll justify to yourself somehow.

To help you in your endeavors to get rejected properly, I’m providing the “rejection query letter” I used to (pretend) to send out to agencies. Use it as a guide, or copy it nearly word for word, and I assure you that your mailbox and/or inbox will soon be full of “thank you, but no” notifications from some of the most important people in the publishing world.

In the comments section of one of my previous essays, “Barb Lee Stanwick” wrote “Bart is a really promising writer. Even though he doesn’t have any books out (what’s with young writers today? I’m kidding)” and this is my response to her, and for any readers of mine who want to know why I haven’t published anything yet.