Friday, November 10, 2006

Nick says . . .

This is a small excerpt from the Writer's Corner over at the website for Nicholas Sparks. Granted, this data wasn't written yesterday, but it still holds true:

Because publishing is becoming more business-oriented each day with more examination of the bottom line, it's harder to break out than ever. Publishers are generally less willing to take big chances in "growing" an author. They want books that will sell, and usually sell right away. If they don't think yours will sell, odds are, they won't take a chance on it. Why? A major reason is because authors in general have become more prolific. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner have fewer published novels combined than any number of contemporary novelists -- Roberts, King, Koontz, Steel, etc.

So, next time you call on a POD publisher, tell 'em Nick sent you.

Further, Nick writes:

. . . You have to understand business factors that are important to the editors making the decision on whether or not to buy your novel: What's the genre? What successful books are similar to the one you've written? Why is yours better? What's the market for your novel? How can we get the word out to that market? And most importantly, will this book be recommended to others?

Here are some other questions they might ask:
  • Does your book have movie potential? What I mean is, have you already sold the movie rights?
  • Does your book have to do with cryptic religious messages? Sorry, scratch that. I meant elephants.
  • Does your name even vaguely resemble Setterfield or Sittenfeld?
  • Just exactly how well do you know Oprah?
  • If you're book is self-published, have you already sold 20,000 copies? I mean, we need some proof it will sell. You think we take chances? On second thought, you probably sold it to everyone who would want a copy. Never mind.
  • How large is your extended family? Big readers, are they?
  • Is your book a fraternity or sorority memoir? We'd love to get our hands on that alumni list!
  • How much of your advance are you willing to invest in publicity?

It's a brutal industry. Just ignore the bruises and be happy you're in it.