Sunday, May 01, 2011


Decision TreeI am on the precipice of a decision, as they say. I must decide whether or not to go ahead with an e-publishing choice. The manuscript I am choosing is one that attracts a lot of attention from the industry, but it isn’t one they believe will sell big enough to take a chance on.

I’m wondering how they determine what will sell big and what will not. Or, what does it mean to sell big. It’s easy to point to the success of the Harry Potter or Twilight series, but who could have predicted their success? Both authors received multiple rejections and then a couple of savvy agents and editors took a gamble. And as you know, their gamble paid off bigger than anyone could have imagined.

How often does something like this happen in publishing? The answer is, not very. If we look at the more popular authors like Stephen King, John Grisham, or even Nora Roberts, we don’t see that instant meteoric climb to the top. They are at the top all right, but they worked and worked to get there.

Please don’t misunderstand. I am in no way suggesting that Rawlings or Meyers didn’t work hard, because there is not any doubt that they did. I would say that they each worked very hard. But what has happened for them does not happen on a regular basis. Unfortunately authors, agents, and editors appear to be searching for the elusive ‘it’ that will bring them this kind of success.

I don’t know if a manuscript of mine will ever make such a mark, but that’s not what I’m aiming for. My sights are set on writing a story that will leave the reader satisfied, but also have them yearning for more. Right now I I have a completed manuscript that works on several different levels (as stated by the industry professionals) and could be a commercial success. The problem is that they don’t believe that it is the blockbuster they’re looking for.

So here’s the decision part. Do I wait for them to come around, or do I go it on my own? Your input is very welcome.

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