Photo by: Lucas Moratelli
Please note: This article is in regards to being published in traditional markets versus self-publishing.
Writers face many challenges on the long road to becoming a published author — lack of time, money, resources, inspiration, support, etc. One of the biggest challenges (IMHO) is simply staying motivated against the overwhelming odds of getting published, or at least, the perception of the odds.
These perceptions include:
- You’d better have an agent and a damn good one.
- The mass majority of submissions don’t even get off the slush pile. You gotta know someone in the business if you want a chance to have your work seen.
- The best in the business were rejected dozens of times before receiving their first publishing credit, so unless you think your work is close to theirs, don’t bother.
- Get a Master of Fine Arts in Literature if you want anyone to give you the benefit of the doubt.
- You have to be published before anyone will publish you. (I particularly like this one!)
- Better have an online presence, be a social media darling and build a following before you even try to get something published.
Considering less than 1% of submissions are accepted by the average publishing house, is it any surprise these perceptions exist, or that so many authors quit or fail to even get started? (Note: This site indicates the Big 5 publishers only publish 500 new authors versus 30,000 established authors a year.)
Now, before anyone puts down their pens or closes their word processor, please take a breath and realize that while the odds are stiff, they are not insurmountable. Yes, there are no guarantees you will get published. But if you get serious about your writing, you can greatly improve your odds and, with a little luck, rise through the slush until you reach the top of the pile.
In short, don’t allow perceptions or excuses to derail your story’s chance at traveling the road to publication. There is hope, as long as you give your story a chance!