As mentioned previously the road to publication (as we know) is tricky- but possible. Don’t you just stare, mouth agape at the report in the literary pages telling of the fourteen year old who has signed a three book deal with an advance of a million dollars?? A million dollars!!! What the…?
Let’s get real-these are the stats (and I know YOU’RE the one who’ll defy them!):
-getting published is harder than making the Olympic team
– an advance is between $500 and $5000 for a first book deal
-the average first time novelist will sell between 3000 and 5000 copies of their novel.
Now is the time to ask yourself this:
Why do I want to be a published writer? If it’s to make millions- I say go for it, but be prepared that the road is looooong before you get the kind of acknowledge you may crave- if you’re really unlucky you could be like Van Gogh or Bon Scott- rich after death. At least your relatives will be happy!
If it’s to see your work in print, to admire it upon the shelves of a bookstore, to receive emails from readers telling you its the best book they’ve ever read- then you won’t be disappointed in the slightest. For me, that has made the whole process worthwhile (of course I wouldn’t sneeze at the big bucks either!!!)
If it’s because you HAVE to write, you can’t go a day without acknowledging someone’s personality trait, or a story they’ve told you or how well you could describe that setting then what are you doing wasting your time reading this? You should be writing damnit! We write because we have to. We want to see our work in print because the nature of writer is that of storyteller. We want others to read our stories. It’s a form of pass it forward. We love to share the stories that touch us. And as writers we think all the stories we create are worth sharing and very touching!!
Publication is validation. It means that the time we spend tapping it out on the keyboard isn’t wasted. That the neglect of our children and laundry, and general state of cleanliness is for a worthwhile cause. We are not poor deluded souls with inflated ideas of grandeur (most of us!) because when we are given a contract to sign it means someone else is acknowledging what we thought all along. Our stories are worth hearing!
Which leads into the next post- critics and reviews!! (and poor old ego!)