Thursday, June 21, 2018

You Aren't The Only Author

I don't want to take a lot of time on this today, but I do think it is something we have to be reminded of this every now and then. You are not the only author out there.

I know this might seem like a "no-duh" statement, but it is also too easy to forget. We spend hours and hours with our characters and stories and as we do start to see that our stories are really good. Whether or not our story is the best thing since sliced bread, we think it is. This the translates to how we view out writing in the entire publishing world.

Let me explain.

When we send our stories out to editors and agents for review, we expect our writing to be moved to the top of the "to be read" stack. We expect to get a full response back from that editor or agent, and, even if that letter is a rejection, we are expecting to get a full revision letter back with a chance to resubmit.

We also want that response within 1 week of sending that story in. Why? Well, "no-duh!" We are the best thing this editor or agent has ever seen and that person should be honored to have our writing on their desk.

This goes even further.

When we sign with an editor or agent, we are expecting our writing to be their first priority. We are expecting those editors and agents to drop everything they are doing to focus on our writing. We are expecting the editors to put our writing on the schedule first and in the best time slots. We are expecting the best covers, the best copy editors and the best marketing team to truly showcase our amazing writing.

We also expect those book buyers to leverage our amazing writing in the best way to show all of those readers why we are so amazing.

But remember, you are not the only writer out there.

A January 5th article on Publisher's Weekly by Jim Milliot clearly shows the numbers.

Although no new book sold more than one million print copies last year, unit sales of print books were 1.9% higher in 2017 than in 2016 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The service, which tracks between 80% and 85% of print sales, reported 687.2 million total units sold last year, up from 674.1 million in 2016. The increase follows a 3.3% increase in 2016. Units have risen every year since 2013, and 2017 sales were up 10.8% from that year.

And you are just one of these authors.

As an agent, I know I try my best to get to your writing as soon as possible. But there are going to be times when someone else is going to get the priority over you.

I know that editors do their best to leverage your writing the best way possible. They are not going to put your book out there to not make money. Remember, if you don't make money, your publisher does not make money. They want you to succeed. We want you to succeed.

But remember, your critique partners, your writing colleagues, and you friends are also fighting for those spots.

Just something to think about for a Friday.

1 comment:

  1. We all want to be number 1 but most of the time an extra digit or two will be added at the end. That's the world we live in. If a writer cannot accept that maybe they should keep it to themselves.