Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Perspective on My Publishing Prospects

Ok, so I've been mulling over this topic for a while.

Now, it may surprise a few people here but i generally am a cautious optimist/dreamer (i never blog about good stuff - who ever does!?!?!) in every day life. However when it comes to my writing i want to have a very different sort of attitude - call it survival instinct or protectionism, or whatever but i have learned that when it comes to writing optimist dreamers are crushed like itty bitty flies on the pavement of life (you can quote me on that)

So, I've decided that a healthy dose of 'reality check' is needed. This post is not meant to depress or anything of the sort. I'm just being honest with myself.

I'll write my WIP within two years, it will be wonderful and all the agents will want it and it won't have an rejections or maybe a few (cause i want to have some challenges to write about in my bestselling autobiography) - then SUCCESS - an amazing literary agent will sign my book, a big publisher will sign it within a few weeks of being shopped around! Aw thats when Hollywood suddenly starts calling and i get to choose the cast. . well the male cast anyway. . . . . .


My God damn alarm wakes me up.

aw well.

Back to reality! You can see where the dream leads - FANTASY LAND.

It is so easy for a writer to get sucked into the fantasy, cause our great imaginations actually have a sick sort of humour and like to secretly torture us with stuff that will NEVER happen.

So i believe i have about the same chances of being published as winning the lotto.

Here is my reasoning:

  1. You Have To Write the Story - Only 3 % of writers that start out writing a novel actually finish it!!
  2. You have to query it - Literary agents reject (give or take 99.5%) of all manuscripts that they receive.
  3. It has to get passed by an editor - who are few in numbers and short in patience (due to being overworked)
  4. Getting it published - from negotiations to deals to this and that, its surprising we even have the number of books published!
  5. Then only a very small amount actually make a decent (livable) profit while the rest are dropped by the publisher for being flops.
So, basically you start as 3% of those who actually finished a novel. Of those 3% - 99.5% are rejected by Literary Agent. I have no percentages of how much on average a L.Agent sells to a publisher but i'm guessing its very very small.

So less than .5% of a chance of being published? its probably 0.05%?

Oh maybe i do have a better chance of getting published than winning the lotto after all?

Oh i am an optimistic indeed aren't i?

So what does this mean for me? I think that with writing people are under the impression that it is different from any other career. If you want to be at the top you have to work hard - 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.

The fact is when i've written my WIP, edited the life out of it, poured my heart, soul and other organs into it - it will still more than likely FAIL but my hope is that it fails well! It is all a learning experience and thats how i'm going to approach it - with expectations of failure and hopes of failing well!!

Yes, we can . . . . Fail Well


Now ignore me as i go off to watch the boxset of the westwing. The last season specifically; All about an inspirational and dignified man of minority becoming president of united states (sound familiar?)

Now, if i had those writers' psychic powers - i wouldn't need the lotto!!


Clare C. Greenstreet said...

I hate how hard it is to get published while being famous just for being famous or getting a record deal by going on the X-Factor seems so easy.

Fran said...

Oh, Emily,

To think we could all just self-publish, have that book with our name on it, pretend we were making it...yet we continue slogging away, wanting that validation from a publisher.

I seriously think all of us must be mad. I worry about that sometimes.

But we'll go right on doing it, because we have no choice, do we?

Emily Cross said...

Clare - i know - wouldn't it be brilliant. it could be like ANTM except smarter ;)

Fran - hello!! so nice to have new person and thank you for adding me! i shall do the same!

i think our artistic calling (insanity) is too strong to ignore - thats what makes us such a kooky loveable group!

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