Monday, June 10, 2024

Writing and Publishing IS Hard

I had a submission yesterday from an author. This individual noted in the query letter that he had thought that writing a novel was the hardest thing out there. Instead, he seemed to believe that agents would only represent published authors and "to be published you need an agent." So in this case, the author decided to send to me, via snail mail, the first three chapters of 6 of his 7 completed novels. 

None are romance or women's fiction...

But, part of what this author said is true. Writing and publishing IS hard. It requires not just sitting at a computer and typing your story, it also involves doing market research and knowing A) if your story is something that is marketable; and B) finding the right person to send your story to. 

I have to say, when I get submissions like this, I really feel sorry for the authors. I know that they have busted their butts to write that story. I know that they feel that their passion for their projects was really enough. I hate writing these letters. 


This is a business. This is a career where you need to be educated and you need to know what you are doing. I use this analogy all of the time. In every career out there, people "go to school" to learn what to do. They go to college. They participate in internships. For doctors, they go through residency. They don't just get up one morning, after watching Grey's Anatomy and say they are going to be a doctor and open up shop. 

Being a professional author is no different. Please note, I am using the term "PROFESSIONAL" here for a reason. Just throwing something out there, printing it and calling yourself a professional writer is not a career. The authors you admire out there, who are making "real money" and being successful have learned the craft, learned the business and are still learning.

Now, with that said, let me tell you something I say at almost all conferences I go to. Writing is something EVERYONE can do. It is part of the humanities and it something that we can do to express our feelings and emotions. We can tell our stories. Does that mean we are to be publisher. NO!  Write if it means having fun. Write because you have a story to tell. But remember, if you want to be a professional writer, it takes a lot more than typing 90,000 words on a page. 

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