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Friday, October 30, 2015

Are You a One Book Wonder?


So I recently received a question from a reader and they graciously gave me permission to answer it on my blog. If you missed it, you can go back and read the previous post here. Beyond their main question, there were actually several other thoughts that popped into my head and here I'm addressing the next one on my list.

Are you a one book wonder?

The reader shared with me that they had written one book and that they've been trying to find an agent for that book for the last two years without any response other than rejection.

Two years.

Now I realize that there are many stories out there about writers querying 90 agents, and they were about to give up, but then, gosh darn if it wasn't agent number 91 that said, "Yes!"

What an exciting, exhilarating, hopeful, writer's tale that is. It would be fantastic if could be every writer's experience...but it's not. I would love to see some data on this, but all I know are the hundreds of stories I've read and heard from writers willing to share their stories from the publishing trenches. As a collective they essentially boil down to this, most first books never go anywhere.

That's not to say that first books NEVER get picked up, because they certainly do.

But if it is highly unlikely, and you really want this plague of a writer's life, then you need to keep writing instead of waiting. Send that first book out, and send it out, and send it out, rinse, repeat, revise, rewrite, send it out. But don't get stuck there. Don't put all you writer hopes and dreams into that first book.

Move on to something else and move on quick because the publishing universe is a black hole in which you're going to mostly send out ships never to be heard or seen from again. If you're wasting your precious time hoping and praying for a signal from that void, you're not doing the one thing that will help get you closer to eventually hearing, "Yes, yes send me your book." You're not working at getting better at writing.

It's one thing to send a book out to agents for two years.

It's another thing entirely to put all your forward progression on hold while you stand frozen hoping that what you've already done will be enough.

Because it almost never is.
Keep writing.     

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