26 April 2010

Why Authors Fail

Penny C. Sansevieri has a good article over at the Huffington Post on "Why Authors Fail." The article contains some important reminders about publishing and marketing a book. As a afterthought to that article, I'm wondering about the authors who are doing "everything right" and still struggling to break into print or sell a novel. Articles like Penny's (and there are lots of them) can give writers the impression that they "should" have accomplished their goals by now. In other words, if an author has done her research, worked her ass off, taken critique to heart, done marketing to death, celebrated the little successes, she should be there right?

Well, maybe not. Take Kent Haruf, today one of the most acclaimed novelists around. He'd made all the right moves: Iowa Writers Workshop, contract with a big publisher for his first novel and then . . . nothing. The contract fell through. He toiled for more than 30 years before publishing his first novel. But now he has no regrets. He views that period of time as an apprenticeship. "Most people quit before they get good enough," he says.


sex scenes at starbucks said...

I like that: apprenticeship. That's definitely how I've viewed my time in the trenches.

lesleylsmith said...

If you're saying I should toil for 30 years you're bumming me out, Dave! If you recall Jim C. Hines survey he found most authors toiled for an average of ten years before publishing their first book. That's bad enough!

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