Yes, your story needs to be good. Yes, you have to have a dedication to your craft and to your learning, but at the end of the day, sometimes it is simply a matter of being at the right place, at the right time, to have your story launched and your career begin.
Consider the following:
- Many of the writers in the early days (I would have to say the first 3 years) of the American Title Contest by Romantic Times and Dorchester had their careers launched because of the uniqueness of the situation. Those books were not necessarily their best, but the timing of the contest was perfect for a career launch.
- An author sitting next to Sue Grimshaw who was then the Borders book buyer starts up a conversation about her book. Sue asks to see a copy. To make a long story short...she liked it, sent it to Maggie Crawford and the career began. And this was because she sat next to her at a lunch.
- Jean Love-Cush's first story (coming out in the summer of 2014) is pitched to editors. They love it but not quite right. One of the earlier readers loves it, but is also not in a position to buy it. That editor moves to another publisher and is now able to buy it. Cha-Ching!
- Another Greyhaus author (also an American Title 2) author signs with me after the contest. Not much happens over time and life got in the way (which happens). And then, an editor starts looking for her genre and contacts me. I get the projects to her and now the editor loves them and wants more. For her, it didn't work the first time, but now???
It takes timing!