16 March 2010

How Do Writers Break In?

This is minor deviation from our usual programming, but I know a lot of our Electric Spec readers and writers are also pre-published novelists. Fantasy author Jim C. Hines has surveyed professionally published novelists to learn how writers broke in, and to use actual data to confirm or bust some of the myths about making it as a novelist. I'll post some excerpts here and the link below.
  • On average, authors sold 7.7 short stories before selling the novel.
  • Of our 246 authors, 116 sold their first novel with zero short fiction sales.
  • But Jim says, I do believe that short fiction sales can help an author.
  • only 1 author out of 246 self-published their book and went on to sell that book to a professional publisher.
  • This does not mean self-publishing can never succeed, or is never a viable option...However, for those hoping to leverage self-published book sales into a commercially published breakout book (a la Eragon), the numbers just aren’t in your favor.

Very interesting! I look forward to reading more from Jim and I will post it here.

The link is here: www.jimchines.com.

Any comments from blog readers on how they broke in?