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So without further ado, here are five publishing myths that I personally think need to be destroyed:
- You can only get published if you have connections. If you believe this even for a second, I highly recommend you get a Twitter account and start following some agents ASAP. Agents find new authors through cold querying all the time—that is, writers they’ve never interacted with who submitted to their slush pile. Do connections sometimes help? Sure, I suppose, if you have any. But by and large, most writers starting out don’t have any, and it is absolutely not a requirement to finding success as a writer.
- Self or traditional publishing is the only way to fame and riches. Repeat after me: there isn’t ONE correct answer for everyone. Self-publishing is not the right choice for everyone. Traditional publishing is not the right choice for everyone. Some people just want to see their book on the shelf when they walk into Barnes & Noble—and they’re not stupid for going the traditional route to meet that dream. Some people want to have much more control over the process and higher royalties—and they’re not stupid for going the self-publishing route to meet that dream.
Honestly, there are so many methods and options out there for writers, and we should be celebrating those opportunities, regardless of whether or not you intend to use them.
Also, if you’re looking for fame and riches, you’re in the wrong profession. Write because you love to write and because you want to create stories regardless of how much money you may or may not make. But don’t expect to get rich doing it, because while it does very occasionally happen, it’s certainly not the norm.
- Anyone can write a book about a popular topic and become insta-rich. No.
Whenever I hear someone say something along these lines, it’s an automatic sign to me that they know absolutely nothing about the publishing industry. Those so-called overnight success, hugely successful authors we hear so much about are about as rare as lottery winners—and they certainly didn’t find their success by jumping on a bandwagon (or overnight, for that matter).
The thing that non-publishing people often don’t realize is that it takes years for a book to go from first draft to traditionally published. Even after a contract is signed and a book is officially going to be published, it often takes two (or even more) years before the book hits the shelf. So to imply that writers can look at what’s uber-popular, crank out a book like nothing and make millions is pretty erroneous on several counts. And that’s not even considering how difficult it is to write a polished book. So there’s that.
- YA novels are inferior to Adult novels. This one will never cease to make me angry. Ever.
I’m not saying that if you don’t like YA that something’s wrong with you, but what I am saying is that judging an entire category based off preconceptions or a single book that you heard about once (or hell, even a single book that you read and hated once) is wrong. YA authors have brought some of the most powerful, emotional, beautiful, exciting books I’ve ever read. And just because they’re written with teens in mind doesn’t mean that adults can’t enjoy them or that they’re somehow not worth as much as a book written for an adult audience.
- Authors make so much money, it doesn’t matter if I illegally download their book for free. This is probably one of the few things that’ll make me rage more than the previous point. I wrote a whole post about why this is so beyond not true here, but the short version is this: most writers don’t make a lot of money to begin with, and pirating is the equivalent of taking money out of their paychecks. Money that they need for bills and food and everything else. So stop, ok?
What do you think? Do you have any publishing myths you’d add to the list?
Writer @Ava_Jae shares 5 publishing myths she believes need to stop. Do you agree? (Click to tweet)
"You can only get published if you have connections" and four other publishing myths that need to stop. (Click to tweet)