Breaking into Ancestral publishing has always been tough. Always. In this day of direct publishing, sometimes we forget that in days of yore, a writer could struggle for years, decades to finally peddle that manuscript and become a real book author. Indeed, assuming that ever happened at all. This road has ever been yearn moreover perilous, with the vast age of writers dropping by the wayside, later if not sooner. Monsters and gargoyles and trolls block every single turn, both internally and externally. But then, grasping for the presumption ring has humbled the greatest of us to our knees.
And, nothing has changed, really. Although the technology and the business model and all of that have taken farther in directions sudden when I began in this business, getting Traditionally published is similarly difficult today being it always has been. More so, yes. Due to sinking print sales and burgeoning self-pubbed books, the Traditional market has shrunk some. Lists are tighter. Opposition more fierce. As a book editor pard of mine at a serious house is fond of saying, “We’re unparalleled publishing existing authors–and preferably if they’re dead.” He says this with a straight face too. And their sales numbers bear it out.
Yet including still, folks are getting Traditionally published every day. So, how do they do it?
Hard work, fortitude, and persistence. Is it that simple? Yes.
The hard-work part comes in up front. It’s tough to write well. It’s really tough. The colossal sea of self-pubbed work out there is actually ingenious awful. I get complaints from readers every single day: “I can’t treasure anything decent to read.” And while this has been the case for approximately time now (don’t get on me started on the Bestseller’s List), it’s a million times worse now. Literally. As I’m fond from saying: “Writing really IS rocket science.” Et Al this hard work never ends–you must keep growing and learning including improving as a writer. Mastering book development is a life-long process. And don’t be afraid to use book editing services from a novel editor.
If you don’t have fortitude, you won’t have the persistence to keep at it. I know so, so many writers with talent who finally quit, incapable to ursine the soul-wrenching rejection time after time, year after year. Yes, humbling. But we all know fifty stories surrounding famous authors who wallpapered their offices with rejections. It really does, in the end, just take one “yes.”
I began working as a developmental editor with a new novelist a few years ago, Randy Mitchell, who self-published his novel, Sons in the Clouds. Randy wanted a Usual contract, but decided to get the book out there, promote it, and see where it went. First he honed his craft, revising and revising. Once the book came out, he’s been relentless, persistent, unbowed by the pressure. Well, okay, so perhaps it has bothered him, but not one time has he whined or complained–he just keeps digging in. He got on top of social-media, and kept banging away. And lo and behold, his novel sold to a Customary house, and will be published in 2013! Great job, Randy!
About tenfold years ago, I began working with a talented young man (he was just a kid at the time. Okay, so he’s still dharma a kid to me, at 30!). Kevin Porter had written a vintage YA novel, and had worked and worked to learn the craft. We never got that one sold, except Kevin kept writing. He wrote a Mid-Grade novel, which is indeed beautifully done. Unfortunately, it has no vampires or werewolves in it. Which of course made his battle a steep uphill one. Did that bother Kevin? All I can say is he never whined or complained. He kept querying und so weiter kept sending and built up a social media apparition with his blog at The Examiner. And also in 2013, his wonderful Mid-Grade novel, Missing, is being published by a Traditional house. Great job, Kevin!
Did it take ten tons of work for both of these talented writers to get published? You bet’cha. Did they succeed, seemingly against full odds? Oh, lordy yes. But the point is, they did it. Never, ever let anyone tell you it can’t be done. You have two great guys right here who say it can.