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Some writers publish traditionally. Some self-publish. Some do both.
Some writers won’t get an agent until they’ve written nine ten eleven fifteen books. Some writers get an agent with their first second third book.
Some writers go on sub and have an offer the next freaking morning (I know, contain your jealousy), others go on sub and have nothing but silence and rejections for over a year, then sell to a major publisher.
If I hear one more time "if your book doesn't sell within 3 months on sub it won't sell" I'll
scream. Multiple House Auction, 16 months.
— Hillary Monahan (@HillaryMonahan) February 20, 2015
Some writers get a really small or nonexistent advance, other writers get multi-book deals with six plus figures.
Some writers publish a book a year (or less). Other writers publish six seven eight nine books in the span of twelve months.
Some writers self-publish and sell a few dozen or hundred copies. Other writers self-publish and become massive bestsellers and have traditional publishers approaching them to print their mega-successful book.
Some writers hit it big with their debut novel and end up a #1 NYT bestseller the same week their book debuts. Other writers mid-list with their debut and slowly build up their careers, one book at a time.
When it comes to the publishing industry, there isn’t a “usual.” This is a notoriously unpredictable career choice with a ridiculous range in possibilities.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is if you don’t get an agent with your fifth six seventh book, if you don’t get an immediate response when on submission, if you don’t get a huge advance or publish eight books a year, if you don’t sell as many copies of your book as you hoped, if you don’t hit it big with your debut, it’s okay. It really, truly, honestly is okay, and I promise there are a hundred writers out there in your shoes, or who had really similar experiences. You are okay, and you will be okay.
Sure, it can be a little disappointing when reality doesn’t match up with your wildest dreams. But know that just because things aren’t lining up the way you’d hoped right now doesn’t mean they never will. Know that you’re not alone, and things will work out, but right now you just have to (yes, here it comes) be patient and let things play out how they will.
This is a tough industry to be in, but there are many out there who are right alongside you. Just keep your eyes on your own paper and do what you do best: write.
Writer @Ava_Jae says when it comes to the publishing industry, there isn't a "normal." What do you think? (Click to tweet)
"This is a notoriously unpredictable career choice w/ a ridiculous range in possibilities." —@Ava_Jae on publishing. (Click to tweet)