Thursday, August 19, 2010


With overwhelming statistics facing us, how can we stay focused and not get discouraged?

• Agents reject 99% of everything they read.
• Editors pass on a large majority of what agents send them.
• Fiction, especially debut fiction, almost never gets picked up, unless your platform is already incredibly strong. Having a fan base of 25,000 daily blog readers would help, but that's out there.
• Only 10% of first-time authors actually sell through their advance.
• Only 8% of published writers make a living through writing alone.
• Knock that down to 1% for a comfortable living.

I am probably not sounding very motivating right about now. But these statistics are out there for all of us to see. We can either let them overwhelm us, or be determined not to be one of those statistics. I hope we can all ignore the numbers and continue to work on the words. What do we focus on: fear-inducing statistics, or the love of writing? The love of writing must be our primary focus.

Most of us will get many Form rejection letters. After all look back at the statistics, 99% of agents reject all they read. It doesn't mean they hated it. Or hate us. It doesn’t even mean our stories stink. Almost all best selling authors have enough rejection form letters to fill a book. Form rejections, unlike personal rejections, do not need analysis. They don't require us to destroy our work and start over.

They're very polite, at times seem almost apologetic and sometimes they seem a little easier to except than a flat no, but in reality what the agent is clearly saying is a simple, No thanks.

What a form rejection letter simply means to me is, that I'm going to query again. Find new agents to send my work to. I know my agent is out there hiding and it’s up to me to find him or her.
Every No I receive is one step closer to the Yes waiting.

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