5 Things I Wish I’d Known about Publishing

  1. Everything in publishing takes freaking forever. FOR. EVER. You have to make the process the destination, or you will always be frustrated.
  2. The chances of your book(s) making you rich are like 3%. If you’re not writing for the love of writing, then find something else to do with your time. There are already too many writers for readers.
  3. Your favorite book is the most likely book to flop. I’m not kidding. I’ve heard author after author say this. It doesn’t matter. And you might be the exception (YAY YOU!) Remember that you loved those people enough to go through the massive amount of work it took to get that book into the world, and let that be enough.
  4. For the love of cheese, don’t self-publish because your book isn’t good enough to get published somewhere else. I know this makes me sound like an asshole. I have a dear friend who published after her book didn’t get picked up, BUT her request rate was astoundingly high, and agent after agent said the writing was spectacular, it was just too dark. THAT is a good reason to self-publish–your book doesn’t “fit” into current categories. (This is more of a personal rant than something I wish I’d known, b/c I did wait until I’d been trad-pubbed, to self-pub).
  5. Many, many, many authors are like that actor you see in small bits on TV shows, and occasionally a movie. You can’t remember their name, but you thought they were pretty OK. This is the status of most authors who work hard, stick with it, and plan on being around for the long game. Ask a non-reader, or a seldom-reader to name a handful of authors, and of the thousands of books published in a year, they can give you a tiny handful of names, and probably most of them will give you the same few names.
  6. If you really love writing something, reading something, and it brings you happiness, then you’re DOING IT RIGHT. Your voice is the most important voice when making decisions about your career and what you enjoy. Love the shit out of that thing. (Thank you for posting this on Facebook the other day, Allie)

~ Jo

P.S. I just had to put 6 in there b/c I said I’d stop at 5. I’m weird.

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2 thoughts on “5 Things I Wish I’d Known about Publishing

  1. I don’t need to be rich off my writing. Moderately wealthy would be nice. I suppose that percentage isn’t a whole lot bigger than 3% though either. 🙂

    The waiting thing is tough. I’m sooo lucky that I’m one of those writers who has a million and one ideas, although sometimes that’s a detriment too. But at least when you’re waiting, you can write the next idea.

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