You asked yourself “I want to write a book where do I start?” You have told your friends, “I want to write a book about my life,” and you asked “what are the steps to writing a book?” You knuckled down and wrote it. It took a while, you were smiling all the way through as the words appeared on the screen and your fingers flew over the keys.
You were so proud of your new book. You spent months, maybe years, writing it. Your friends and family say it is a winner. You dream of your book on the front shelves at Barnes and Nobles and having interviews with Oprah.
You send it to a publisher, and are shocked at it being returned with a little clip of paper saying it isn’t what they want. They don’t say why. You try this again with another and get a reject stamp. Not to be discouraged, you try to get an agent, and get the same treatment. You feel like you are dying.
Hey, it is not the end; it is the beginning. Mario Puzo submitted The Godfather forty times. Hang in there, you may make it.
Computers and word processors churn out hundreds of thousands of manuscripts daily. Publishers and agents are flooded. If their first readers don’t like the title, the idea from your summary or just the way you phrased something, it is pitched. Your book could win a Pulitzer or be a soaring best seller, but it can easily be overlooked.
If by some stroke of luck, they do like and publish it, and at the same time one of their hot authors like a new Grisham comes out. Your book will be neglected. If it doesn’t sell within two weeks, it is on the back list and then sold for a buck. You have seen these cheap books on the shelves. They are in business to make money like any other commercial activity. Art is appreciated, and recognized, but if it doesn’t have dollar signs on it, forget it. Regardless, marketing of your book will be up to you unless you knock it out of the park and they think you are another Lee Childs or Robert Ludlum.
It is not all bad news. Now go to my blog on self-publishing, next.