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Cephus' thread about publishing issues (1 Viewer)

Cephus

Senior Member
I probably write better than a bunch and a bunch probably write better than I do. So what? It's all subjective anyhow. It isn't really a competition. Everyone has their own style. Most books I read, I'll find things I would have done differently but who cares? It isn't my book.
 

Cephus

Senior Member
And ... I kind of missed a point in my reply above. It isn't a competition? If someone's sample chapters or manuscript winds up in an agent's or editor's inbox with 99 others, you don't think it's a competition? Guess again. A writer better damned well know how they stack up against the competition, because every other one of those writers is the competition.
Except in practice, it doesn't work that way. Sure, in a head-to-head competition, you'd better be able to beat other writers, but that's just not how publishing works. They're looking at salability. There are tons of factors you have absolutely no control over. If your story looks better than one they've already signed, you're not going to get signed too because they don't want to compete with themselves. If the elements of your story are deemed to be over-saturated on the market, you're not going to sell, at least not with that story, no matter how skilled of a writer you are. It is virtually never a head-to-head competition. It's being in the right place at the right time with something they can sell.
 

Cephus

Senior Member
Interesting you would mention the issue of saleability. I took an online seminar today with Kathy Ver Eecke, on query letters. The entire seminar was about making a case for book sales. Very enlightening!

I understand where @vranger is coming from, it's a good test for confidence-building. But the caveat is you may not focus on the right aspects of the comparison, and lul yourself into complacency. Let's face it, excellence and marketability do not always go hand in hand.
I get it too, There's nothing wrong with doing what a lot of amateur writers are doing, I'm just pointing out that it's a far more complex process than a lot of people think. It isn't just 50 people sending in manuscripts and the best one wins. That's not how publishing works and, unfortunately, there are a lot of amateur writers out there who don't much care for the realities of the industry, they just want to think what they want to think and anyone who doesn't take it just the right way, or who disagrees with the general idea, based on the way the world actually works, well...

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who would rather just live in their own little fantasy land instead of accepting the actual truth from people who know better. There are an ever-decreasing number of published, successful authors who are trying to help. I always find it sad just how little help a lot of people seem to want.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
These posts moved here so Cephus can have his own discussion about this subject, which has nothing to do with the thread he initially dropped them in.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
From the minute you finish that book, it is a competition.
On the conventional route you are head-2-head against every other author in that slushpile.
On the Indie side, you compete with every book in your genre...and it starts the minute you start the 90-day pre-sale period.

But no, the best technical writer does not always win the fight. There are lots of intangibles in selling published material.
Tis why I say that you should not even consider publishing until you have penned 200k words. It takes a couple years of practice to get limber in your writing...to find your voice as an author. Publishing the first thing you write is a really bad idea.*

*I say this as a guy who once published my first novel.
 

Tettsuo

WF Veterans
But no, the best technical writer does not always win the fight. There are lots of intangibles in selling published material.
Tis why I say that you should not even consider publishing until you have penned 200k words. It takes a couple years of practice to get limber in your writing...to find your voice as an author. Publishing the first thing you write is a really bad idea.*

*I say this as a guy who once published my first novel.
I think everyone should go all the way to the very point of publishing with their first completed work. There's so much to learn from the process!

And I, like you, published my first novel. :D
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
Lots of Indies will tell you they regret publishing that first book...especially if they used their real name.
If you wanna publish the first 150k words you ever wrote, then I suggest using a pen name...or that turd will follow you around for the rest of your life.
 
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