"It is hard coming up with a good idea, it's hard writing a novel, it's hard to find an agent, it's hard to find a publisher, it's hard for the publisher to convince booksellers to take on the book in the numbers they want, it's hard for the bookseller to sell the book, it's hard for a book to become a bestseller.
It's one big obstacle course in which you have to beat out other books every step of the way. To use a sports metaphor, it's March Madness with a 1,000,000 book field. Make it to the next round and there are 500,000. Make it to the next round and there are 250,000. And you have to win every game."
In other words, you ain't got much of a shot buddy.
Many of the comments reiterated the view that getting a book published (much less penning a bestseller) was about as likely as a Jim J. Bullock comeback. Unpubbed writers could easily read through the comments and conclude they are wasting their time slaving over word choice, comma placement, and whether or not to include that awesome fart joke. Luckily for all of my future readers, I view things differently.
What Agent Bransford fails to mention is that of those 1,000,000 people, I would guess fully half couldn't write a coherent interoffice memo. Everyone who has read more than a handful of books has thought, "You know, how hard can it be to write one?" and so they do.
Also, of those 1,000,000 people, a good 10% are probably like that infomercial guy, Billy Mays. They're very excited about their product, but their product sucks. So that's the first thing: the competition isn't quite as stiff as it would appear, unless you're the guy who can't write the office email. Or Billy Mays (What do you bet he's the type that writes in ALL CAPS, ALL THE TIME?)
Another reason I write, in spite of the supposed odds against my ever getting pubbed, is that I've read a lot of pretty cruddy books. (No, I'm not naming names or linking to an image of Dianetics (haven't read it) because I don't want to offend a publisher who is just sitting in New York waiting for my manuscript.) Now, I don't intentionally try to find bad books, which means that I'm probably missing out on some real stinkers. So, no offense, but if your crappy book (couldn't help it) got published, then why shouldn't mine?
I also look at it this way: Readers need publishers. Publishers need writers. This year, a lot of writers will publish their debut novels. Someone has to write these things, so why not me?
The odds might be long, but there's one surefire way to guarantee you won't get your novel pubbed: Stop writing it. (Really, stop. Right now. The rest of us would appreciate the diminished competition.)
Blogger's Note: There's also that little thing called enjoyment. Most of the time I like writing. Why else would I have a blog that no one reads?
Twilight Quote of the Day (You'll notice a change here. Fact is, there's way too much comedic gold to be mined in the quotes of Twilight characters for this blogger to pass up.)
"I hope you enjoy disappointment."
--Edward Cullen, Twilight, Chapter 3, p. 65