I’ve written two books and am working on getting them published traditionally, focusing very much so on the second one. But these are the odd I’m up against, as provided by Berrett-Koehler Publishers:
- While the number of books being published every year has exploded (more than 300,000 traditionally published as of the end of 2014, and 700,000 self-published in 2017), overall book sales are shrinking. They were less in 2016 than they were in 2007, even with e-books taken into consideration.
- Because of the explosion of books published and the declining total sales, each new title gets less and less sales.
- For every available bookstore shelf space, there are up to 1,000 or more titles competing for that shelf space.
- Each book is competing with more than thirteen million other books available for sale, while other media are claiming more and more of people’s time.
- the book publishing space is in a never-ending state of turmoil
Make no mistake: I’m fully aware that my odds of getting traditionally published are slim, and of making any money should I get published even slimmer. That’s why I say that writing is my particular form of craziness. The authors of the books you read have to all share that craziness to a certain extent as well.
So why do I keep trying? Because it’s hard. Because other writers are fascinating people to be around. Because using my imagination to create something as substantial and emotionally compelling as a book is FUN. Because it’s a way for me to push for progress in my life even if other things feel staid or stagnant.
This week, that progress took place in my election to the position of president of a 35-member writers club called Utah Valley Writers, and in meeting and hopefully starting a great working relationship with a new critique partner. Liz Stone, a fellow YA sci-fi writer and aspiring author, read the first 50 pages of Running and provided some great feedback. In exchange, I read the first twenty pages of her manuscript, titled Broken Authority. Having a good critique partner and beta readers is so, so helpful. You don’t even know!