Is it true that a new writer needs contacts if he hopes to sell his book to a major publisher?
No. “Contacts” are extremely overrated in this business. If your Uncle Herbie is a senior editor with Random House, he’ll probably agree to read your manuscript. If he likes you, anyway. Chances are he’ll resent it, though. He already has too many manuscripts waiting on his desk, and he’ll see yours as a burden. He may even take you out of his will. Instead of relying on contacts, rely on your determination to make your manuscript as good as it can be. Compelling manuscripts, not contacts, attract publishing contracts.