Blogger: Rachel Kent
Before an author is published or before they’ve spent time as members in writing groups or at conferences, there are some hopes and assumptions that might be made about publishing. I’ve come up with a list of some of the “newbie” assumptions I’ve experienced–both in my own inexperience and through interactions with writers. Here’s a brief list of assumptions I’ve seen writers make:
1) All agents represent the same types of books.
Most agents have preferences and we list them on our websites. Be sure to look at an agency website before sending your query.
2) My book is so good I don’t need to follow the rules.
Refusing to follow submission guidelines because you think your book is so amazing is a quick way to get rejected. Your book might be that good, but working with someone who can’t follow the rules isn’t appealing to agents. How can we promote you to publishing houses knowing that you might be difficult for them to work with? [All of you in our blog community are lovely and I know you would all do very well working with publishers!]
3) The book market hasn’t changed since I wrote this book ten years ago.
This is something that surprised me about the publishing industry. Everything moves so slowly, but buying trends can change seemingly over night. Trends do seem to come and go, much like they do in fashion, so that book you wrote so long ago might be relevant again some day, but the market has likely changed drastically in the past few years. And your book is going to need updating one way or the other.
4) I am a good writer, so I will be published someday.
This is a tough one. I do believe that God puts the desire to write into us, but it might not be his will for all of us to be published. Our writing could be for our own benefit or for the benefit of someone close to us. I know he is using the publishing world to teach each of us life lessons and to build our faith regardless of if we end up published or not.
5) The publishing industry moves quickly.
Not! It is so very slow. Every once-in-a-while something will go fast and it shocks us all. 🙂 Just hang in there and feel free to slow your pace down a bit, too. However, if you are on a deadline I don’t suggest slowing down. Always do your best to meet deadlines because that helps to keep things plodding along at that steady, albeit slow, pace.
6) I will be able to support my family with writing income after I get a book published.
This is unlikely. I sure hope your book does so well, but very few books really take off like this. And even if you are a multi-published writer the money comes in unpredictable clumps a few times throughout the year. Writing is not a good job for a steady, predictable income.
What else have you learned about these assumptions at this point in your writing careeer? Do you have anything you would add to this list?