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(The Millions)   Think you'll write the great American novel some day? Here are the unfortunate stats, Hemingnoway   (themillions.com) divider line 95
    More: Unlikely, Hemingnoway, Americans, narratives, young adult novels, small press, online books, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ISBN  
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5003 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Dec 2013 at 12:49 PM (39 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-31 11:14:28 AM
That's funny. I laughed.

I wrote a novel as part of NaNoWriMo.

I didn't write for anyone but me.

So fark off.
 
2013-12-31 11:45:29 AM
2012 fiction books published with an ISBN: adult fiction 67,254; YA and juvenile fiction 20,339
2012 Net book sales: $27.1 billion

So, that would mean the (mean) average book made $387,000.   That actually seems rather high, but, my guess is the "median" average would be more around $1,000, and the "mode" likely is $0 (or fairly close to 0).
 
2013-12-31 12:52:24 PM
I missed the "no". Then I re-read the headline....

/OK raise your hand if you suck like me.
 
2013-12-31 12:54:10 PM
I am currently co-editing an academic work.  I have two novels written in various stages of editing.  I have another I'm working on while the others grow cold.  I've published a few short stories.  I refuse to self-publish.  My problem is that there are very few agents who want work that doesn't fit into a very narrow sliver of what they perceive to be marketable.  Basically, all plots should be boiled down to one sentence and nothing within the novel should upset anyone.

That's tough for people who want to create challenging narratives.
 
2013-12-31 12:54:11 PM
This author just wrote an article about his financial incentive to discourage you from writing.
 
2013-12-31 12:55:14 PM
"How you uh, how you comin' on that novel you're working on? Huh? Got a a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Got a, got a nice little story you're working on there? Your big novel you've been working on for three years? Huh? Got a, got a compelling protagonist? Yeah? Got a obstacle for him to overcome? Huh? Got a story brewing there? Working on, working on that for quite some time? Huh? Yeah, talking about that three years ago. Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? Yeah? No, no, you deserve some time off." - Stewie
 
2013-12-31 12:55:27 PM

whizbangthedirtfarmer: I am currently co-editing an academic work.  I have two novels written in various stages of editing.  I have another I'm working on while the others grow cold.  I've published a few short stories.  I refuse to self-publish.  My problem is that there are very few agents who want work that doesn't fit into a very narrow sliver of what they perceive to be marketable.  Basically, all plots should be boiled down to one sentence and nothing within the novel should upset anyone.

That's tough for people who want to create challenging narratives.


If you write somewhat offensive work, perhaps you should try your hand at video game plots: the more offensive, the better.
 
2013-12-31 12:56:46 PM
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young publishing editor ...
 
2013-12-31 12:57:29 PM
Author wants to discourage the competition does he? It's as honest as paid journalists telling people to not get into journalism.

Way to climb the ladder, saw off the rungs.
 
2013-12-31 12:57:44 PM
There is no hate like failed novelist hate.
 
2013-12-31 12:58:27 PM
The article wasn't about the quality of novels, it was about sales.

Gene Wolfe has more skill in his pinky toe than Stephanie Meyer has in her entire body, but her sales blow his out of the water.  Hell, most people have no idea who Gene Wolfe is.

Talent and skill will not necessarily make a novel sell, so if your goal is to write the next great American novel you may be successful in that regard if you practice a lot and study other well written works and their authors.  Just don't expect to get rich off of it.
 
2013-12-31 12:59:11 PM
Fark the poop-weigher and his stinky tomes
 
2013-12-31 12:59:28 PM

Wangiss: whizbangthedirtfarmer: I am currently co-editing an academic work.  I have two novels written in various stages of editing.  I have another I'm working on while the others grow cold.  I've published a few short stories.  I refuse to self-publish.  My problem is that there are very few agents who want work that doesn't fit into a very narrow sliver of what they perceive to be marketable.  Basically, all plots should be boiled down to one sentence and nothing within the novel should upset anyone.

That's tough for people who want to create challenging narratives.

If you write somewhat offensive work, perhaps you should try your hand at video game plots: the more offensive, the better.


Nothing offensive, but I've been told by agents that I need more "action" and I should not have digressions.  A simple paragraph in which I talk about a character having taken psychotropic meds in the past garnered the comment that I need to "show the reader the character taking the pills," because some "readers might miss the detail."   Basically, they want everything to be a thriller novel.  As someone who reviews thriller novels part-time for a paper, well, that's not a high standard.
 
2013-12-31 12:59:43 PM
Pffft. Nobody ready anymore.
 
2013-12-31 01:04:36 PM
This article is basically another example of "there are more reasons not to do something than to do it" but none of that should matter. You only get one turn at life. If you want to write a novel, write one. And good luck to you!

And if nothing else, do what a friend of mine is doing: he puts his up a few pages at a time on social media. So what if it doesn't make him rich? He did it because he wanted to - and he's very good at it.
 
2013-12-31 01:04:49 PM
Every successful author is a black swan. But you can use teh webz to increase the likelyhood that someone will read your stuff. Develope a base, blog readers and twitter followers. Don't bother with the publishing houses at first, they're more useful after you're a little successful.

As a used book dealer I know They don't know what makes a real hit. They pump money into marketing and placement and a bunch of people buy the book to never finish it, dump it into used channels where nobody wants it because the marketing blitz is over. I see best sellers go to nothing in a matter of weeks because their status was just marketing.
 
2013-12-31 01:05:00 PM

whizbangthedirtfarmer: Wangiss: whizbangthedirtfarmer: I am currently co-editing an academic work.  I have two novels written in various stages of editing.  I have another I'm working on while the others grow cold.  I've published a few short stories.  I refuse to self-publish.  My problem is that there are very few agents who want work that doesn't fit into a very narrow sliver of what they perceive to be marketable.  Basically, all plots should be boiled down to one sentence and nothing within the novel should upset anyone.

That's tough for people who want to create challenging narratives.

If you write somewhat offensive work, perhaps you should try your hand at video game plots: the more offensive, the better.

Nothing offensive, but I've been told by agents that I need more "action" and I should not have digressions.  A simple paragraph in which I talk about a character having taken psychotropic meds in the past garnered the comment that I need to "show the reader the character taking the pills," because some "readers might miss the detail."   Basically, they want everything to be a thriller novel.  As someone who reviews thriller novels part-time for a paper, well, that's not a high standard.


No offense, but do your characters never leave the Shire?
 
2013-12-31 01:05:13 PM

DROxINxTHExWIND: Pffft. Nobody ready anymore.


I think people still read, it's just shifting to e-readers.  I no longer have a major bookstore within 75 miles of my home.  I have to order what I want online, because the only remaining bookstores around here carry college text books, whatever the top selling fiction happens to be, and not much else.
 
2013-12-31 01:06:35 PM
There are a few things I find disturbing about this.
First...  I read ALL the time.  I love to.  Yet, I've barely scratched the surface of the number of books out there.  And looking at these numbers, it would take many lifetimes to even come close.

Second...  If it's so difficult to get published professionally, let alone noticed as having written something worth reading, how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?  And what about Stephanie Myers, EL James or even JK Rowling?  (the last of which actually wrote something good.)  They were all virtually unkown (Rowling was on welfare for chrisake!!), and are now the proud owners of multimillion dollar franchises.  2 of which already completed their films series'!!

I suppose it's just like every other form of entertainment.  Success depends on like 10% talent and 250grillion% incredibly good fortune.
 
2013-12-31 01:09:03 PM
Ugh! Why bother?
 
2013-12-31 01:09:18 PM

durbnpoisn: There are a few things I find disturbing about this.
First...  I read ALL the time.  I love to.  Yet, I've barely scratched the surface of the number of books out there.  And looking at these numbers, it would take many lifetimes to even come close.

Second...  If it's so difficult to get published professionally, let alone noticed as having written something worth reading, how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?  And what about Stephanie Myers, EL James or even JK Rowling?  (the last of which actually wrote something good.)  They were all virtually unkown (Rowling was on welfare for chrisake!!), and are now the proud owners of multimillion dollar franchises.  2 of which already completed their films series'!!

I suppose it's just like every other form of entertainment.  Success depends on like 10% talent and 250grillion% incredibly good fortune.


No, it's striking the interest of the readers.  And readers are mostly interested in relatable turmoil and banal, impulse-driven drama.  If you can use that while bringing something new AS WELL, you're Joss Whedon.  Enjoy your spoils.
 
2013-12-31 01:09:23 PM

dletter: 2012 fiction books published with an ISBN: adult fiction 67,254; YA and juvenile fiction 20,339
2012 Net book sales: $27.1 billion

So, that would mean the (mean) average book made $387,000.   That actually seems rather high, but, my guess is the "median" average would be more around $1,000, and the "mode" likely is $0 (or fairly close to 0).


One is total book sales while the other is fiction only.
 http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/financial -re porting/article/53112-industry-sales-pegged-at-27-2-billion.html puts it at 7.07 billion total or 80k average. That's... not very good at all.
 
2013-12-31 01:09:53 PM

durbnpoisn: There are a few things I find disturbing about this.
First...  I read ALL the time.  I love to.  Yet, I've barely scratched the surface of the number of books out there.  And looking at these numbers, it would take many lifetimes to even come close.

Second...  If it's so difficult to get published professionally, let alone noticed as having written something worth reading, how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?  And what about Stephanie Myers, EL James or even JK Rowling?  (the last of which actually wrote something good.)  They were all virtually unkown (Rowling was on welfare for chrisake!!), and are now the proud owners of multimillion dollar franchises.  2 of which already completed their films series'!!

I suppose it's just like every other form of entertainment.  Success depends on like 10% talent and 250grillion% incredibly good fortune.


I think you nailed it.
 
2013-12-31 01:09:58 PM
wait - Penthouse Forum doesn't count?
 
2013-12-31 01:13:16 PM
Look, if you're going to write, you're going to have to self publish. The big established names are the last big established names. Grisham, King, etc. They're dying out slowly. (Clancy, Crichton) What made them (big publishing) is dying too. So all you can do is stake out a small corner of your genre. Whatever is left of the publishing industry will be plucking you and others from the indies.
 
2013-12-31 01:13:17 PM

dundapig: wait - Penthouse Forum doesn't count?


Actually, it kind of does.  50 Shades of Grey was originally an erotic Twilight fan fiction
 
2013-12-31 01:13:47 PM

durbnpoisn: how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?


His parents owned a publishing company, IIRC. That helps.
 
2013-12-31 01:14:29 PM

durbnpoisn: There are a few things I find disturbing about this.
First...  I read ALL the time.  I love to.  Yet, I've barely scratched the surface of the number of books out there.  And looking at these numbers, it would take many lifetimes to even come close.

Second...  If it's so difficult to get published professionally, let alone noticed as having written something worth reading, how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?  And what about Stephanie Myers, EL James or even JK Rowling?  (the last of which actually wrote something good.)  They were all virtually unkown (Rowling was on welfare for chrisake!!), and are now the proud owners of multimillion dollar franchises.  2 of which already completed their films series'!!

I suppose it's just like every other form of entertainment.  Success depends on like 10% talent and 250grillion% incredibly good fortune Work ethic



FTFY.

Sure, folks get lucky but most successful people create their own luck through hard work and sacrifice.  Think of how many times you've decided to watch Wheel of Fortune instead of working on your book that night. Or the Saturday where you wanted to sleep in all day instead of researching your novel topic. IMHO, you have to be slightly obsessed to obtain that kind of success. All of us who allow life to get in the way of living find excuses (work schedule, the kids, the commute) while these people push past the obstacles.
 
2013-12-31 01:14:49 PM
B-b-but, I wrote about incestuous vampires and fantasy plots that take miles to unravel!! Isn't that what the kids want these days?
 
2013-12-31 01:14:54 PM

que.guero: There is no hate like failed novelist hate.


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
 
2013-12-31 01:16:39 PM

dundapig: wait - Penthouse Forum doesn't count?


I write letters to Prudence with a 50% acceptance rate. That Pocket Ninja guy better not try to invade my turf there.
 
2013-12-31 01:18:51 PM

durbnpoisn: There are a few things I find disturbing about this.
First...  I read ALL the time.  I love to.  Yet, I've barely scratched the surface of the number of books out there.  And looking at these numbers, it would take many lifetimes to even come close.


If it helps take a stroll along the self published novels on Amazon. Most of them are dreck and there's no reason for anyone to read them. I honestly think the self publishing revolution is interesting but it's incredibly hard to sort out the stuff that is really worth reading.

Second...  If it's so difficult to get published professionally, let alone noticed as having written something worth reading, how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?  And what about Stephanie Myers, EL James or even JK Rowling?  (the last of which actually wrote something good.)  They were all virtually unkown (Rowling was on welfare for chrisake!!), and are now the proud owners of multimillion dollar franchises.  2 of which already completed their films series'!!

I suppose it's just like every other form of entertainment.  Success depends on like 10% talent and 250grillion% incredibly good fortune.


Pretty much. It's almost exactly the same process as memes. There's initial exposure, some word of mouth, and then in ways no one can usually qualify some things get incredibly popular and then roll along on their own popularity. There's no reason, for example, that Rebecca Black should specifically have been singled out from all of the terrible low rent music videos on YouTube. She just was and now when I type "rebecca" into Google it autocompletes with "Rebecca Black."
 
2013-12-31 01:24:29 PM
whizbangthedirtfarmer:

A simple paragraph in which I talk about a character having taken psychotropic meds in the past garnered the comment that I need to "show the reader the character taking the pills," because some "readers might miss the detail."

I feel your pain somewhat, but I can also see their point. If you are trying to sell a product, it's got to reach certain demographics. If those demographics can only understand that scene by having a two sentence description of "taking the pills" because their experience with mind altering substances (prescription or otherwise) is limited to popular media or that one time they got high a long time ago, then that's what you have to do to sell the product.

I know this is small comfort to you when you have a very good reason for setting up your scene the way you set it up, but we don't live in a world where wealthy aristocratic patrons hire writers to show off how powerful they are. It's largely a capitalistic enterprise, so it's got to play by those rules.

Now, once you're established as a writer, you can get all fancy and artsy. And if it makes you feel any better, some wonderful American novelists moonlighted as Hollywood sreenwriters to make money when they weren't making enough money from their writing.. Check out F. Scott Fitzgerald's IMDB page and see all that early movies he helped write... without getting the credit in many cases. You can do the same thing with Faulkner, although he did get credit for writing The Big Sleep at least (although he was a recognized success by then...).
 
2013-12-31 01:26:08 PM
And you're guaranteed to not write the great American novel if you don't even try.
 
2013-12-31 01:26:40 PM

DROxINxTHExWIND: durbnpoisn: There are a few things I find disturbing about this.
First...  I read ALL the time.  I love to.  Yet, I've barely scratched the surface of the number of books out there.  And looking at these numbers, it would take many lifetimes to even come close.

Second...  If it's so difficult to get published professionally, let alone noticed as having written something worth reading, how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?  And what about Stephanie Myers, EL James or even JK Rowling?  (the last of which actually wrote something good.)  They were all virtually unkown (Rowling was on welfare for chrisake!!), and are now the proud owners of multimillion dollar franchises.  2 of which already completed their films series'!!

I suppose it's just like every other form of entertainment.  Success depends on like 10% talent and 250grillion% incredibly good fortune Work ethic


FTFY.

Sure, folks get lucky but most successful people create their own luck through hard work and sacrifice.  Think of how many times you've decided to watch Wheel of Fortune instead of working on your book that night. Or the Saturday where you wanted to sleep in all day instead of researching your novel topic. IMHO, you have to be slightly obsessed to obtain that kind of success. All of us who allow life to get in the way of living find excuses (work schedule, the kids, the commute) while these people push past the obstacles.


Eh.  Me and a few other people I know are pretty discipline writers (for my latest novel, I've been putting 1000 good words a day), but it's not luck and it's not effort.  It is literally, who you know and how accessible the work is.  Do you have contacts in the industry?  You can get in.  Can you keep the novel pretty simple?  Then you have a shot.  Basically, think of all of the people who ripped off Harry Potter.  Most of them sucked, but they still got contracts, because agents have a groupthink going on.  That's what happens when you take a 5 - 10 percent cut.  A shiatty Harry Potter knockoff (or, now, the Hunger Games) will earn you more money than an original work that is new and fresh.

So, yes, it's who you know and how well you're willing to sell a part of your integrity.

\perhaps a FARK Writer's group would be interesting
 
2013-12-31 01:27:04 PM
For those talking about convention and pandering to a reader base, take note of Infinite Jest. Released in 1996 it has been a persistent seller, although never a star. Barely sci-fi, strangely dystopian, it's full of drugs and tennis. It goes on for a thousand pages, and instead of reaching a conclusion it reaches an end, which might explain why most read copies appear to have been flung across the room.
 
2013-12-31 01:38:41 PM
Somehow I doubt the "great American novel" will be sci-fi or fantasy.

And given our electorate these days, it'll probably be a children's book....perhaps coloring, but I hear scratch-'n'-sniff books are making a comeback.
 
2013-12-31 01:39:13 PM

Dirtybird971: "How you uh, how you comin' on that novel you're working on? Huh? Got a a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Got a, got a nice little story you're working on there? Your big novel you've been working on for three years? Huh? Got a, got a compelling protagonist? Yeah? Got a obstacle for him to overcome? Huh? Got a story brewing there? Working on, working on that for quite some time? Huh? Yeah, talking about that three years ago. Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? Yeah? No, no, you deserve some time off." - Stewie


*punch* - Brian
 
2013-12-31 01:39:59 PM

If Stephine Meyer can get published so can you.

 
2013-12-31 01:40:19 PM

Paelian: whizbangthedirtfarmer:

A simple paragraph in which I talk about a character having taken psychotropic meds in the past garnered the comment that I need to "show the reader the character taking the pills," because some "readers might miss the detail."

I feel your pain somewhat, but I can also see their point. If you are trying to sell a product, it's got to reach certain demographics. If those demographics can only understand that scene by having a two sentence description of "taking the pills" because their experience with mind altering substances (prescription or otherwise) is limited to popular media or that one time they got high a long time ago, then that's what you have to do to sell the product.

I know this is small comfort to you when you have a very good reason for setting up your scene the way you set it up, but we don't live in a world where wealthy aristocratic patrons hire writers to show off how powerful they are. It's largely a capitalistic enterprise, so it's got to play by those rules.

Now, once you're established as a writer, you can get all fancy and artsy. And if it makes you feel any better, some wonderful American novelists moonlighted as Hollywood sreenwriters to make money when they weren't making enough money from their writing.. Check out F. Scott Fitzgerald's IMDB page and see all that early movies he helped write... without getting the credit in many cases. You can do the same thing with Faulkner, although he did get credit for writing The Big Sleep at least (although he was a recognized success by then...).


Not to sound like a complete putz, but I didn't get into it for the money, but rather the challenge.  Unfortunately, I've discovered in the past several years that the playing field is stacked in such a way that authors with a true amount of integrity have to resort to very small press or to selling out in some ways.  I can't remember which recent novel it was, but there was a short book written about how that particular novel was written by an author and then rewritten, basically, by the editors so that the public would buy it.  They did (sorta), but the author seemed distressed that his original vision had been rather shattered by the marketing arm.

On a side note, most writers tend to be ridiculously territorial and refuse help from fellow writers.  A long time ago, I joined the Horror Writer's Association (along with some others).  The HWA, at the time, widely promoted a mentorship program where a relatively unpublished writer would get some feedback from an established author.  When I asked about it, the HWA admins basically said, look, we have two or three authors willing to do this, and about 500 newbies on the list.  In other words, no dice.  When I complained, I did get some good feedback from Stefan Petrucha, who was a generally nice guy.  Even so, the HWA and other writer's boards tended to exist so the established authors could flame the newbies at will (in some cases, the response was priceless: "hooray!  I just got flamed by xxxx!  I love that guy!").  It was absolutely horrible.
 
2013-12-31 01:41:06 PM
If you're good, you'll be successful. Most writers aren't very good.
 
2013-12-31 01:43:40 PM

DROxINxTHExWIND: durbnpoisn: There are a few things I find disturbing about this.
First...  I read ALL the time.  I love to.  Yet, I've barely scratched the surface of the number of books out there.  And looking at these numbers, it would take many lifetimes to even come close.

Second...  If it's so difficult to get published professionally, let alone noticed as having written something worth reading, how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?  And what about Stephanie Myers, EL James or even JK Rowling?  (the last of which actually wrote something good.)  They were all virtually unkown (Rowling was on welfare for chrisake!!), and are now the proud owners of multimillion dollar franchises.  2 of which already completed their films series'!!

I suppose it's just like every other form of entertainment.  Success depends on like 10% talent and 250grillion% incredibly good fortune Work ethic


FTFY.

Sure, folks get lucky but most successful people create their own luck through hard work and sacrifice.  Think of how many times you've decided to watch Wheel of Fortune instead of working on your book that night. Or the Saturday where you wanted to sleep in all day instead of researching your novel topic. IMHO, you have to be slightly obsessed to obtain that kind of success. All of us who allow life to get in the way of living find excuses (work schedule, the kids, the commute) while these people push past the obstacles.


I'm sorry, but that is a load of crap!

www.durbnpoisn.comli.com

There is almost no coorelation at all between the amount of work and effort someone puts into their art, and whether or not they get noticed.  Some of the most dedicated musicians (for instance) that I've ever known, never got any kind of break, even though they are incredibly talented, very professional, and work very hard to get themselves noticed.  Yet there are legions of talentless hacks out there that somehow became very popular because of money, connections, or just sheer dumb luck, like someone noticing a YouTube video.

I will give you the point that you make about wasting time when you should be working.  I cannot argue that.  But it does seem really amazing to me how many people DON'T waste their time like you're suggesting, ARE very talented, and STILL haven't got anything to show for it.
 
2013-12-31 01:45:40 PM

Gunther: durbnpoisn: how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?

His parents owned a publishing company, IIRC. That helps.


Plus, the author himself is a human-interest story. The "author is just a kid" angle made his books very marketable. I think half of the readers read it just to find out whether the kid is a prodigy or not (answer: not).
 
2013-12-31 01:49:58 PM
whizbangthedirtfarmer:

/perhaps a FARK Writer's group would be interesting

OK
I'm an indie author, and I'd love to start a FARK Writer's group.
It would be like going into one of those bars where the hostess gets to tell you Fark Off.

/actual dirt farmer
 
2013-12-31 01:52:08 PM

cgraves67: Gunther: durbnpoisn: how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?

His parents owned a publishing company, IIRC. That helps.

Plus, the author himself is a human-interest story. The "author is just a kid" angle made his books very marketable. I think half of the readers read it just to find out whether the kid is a prodigy or not (answer: not).


I read the first book.  Oddly enough, I bought it on impulse at Barnes and Noble one day, without knowing anything about it or the author.
My quick review...  It's okay.  Fairly well written.  But many of the ideas, if not the entire story, were taken, and very obviously, from other stories.  So, meh...  It's just okay.
 
2013-12-31 01:57:01 PM

durbnpoisn: DROxINxTHExWIND: durbnpoisn: There are a few things I find disturbing about this.
First...  I read ALL the time.  I love to.  Yet, I've barely scratched the surface of the number of books out there.  And looking at these numbers, it would take many lifetimes to even come close.

Second...  If it's so difficult to get published professionally, let alone noticed as having written something worth reading, how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?  And what about Stephanie Myers, EL James or even JK Rowling?  (the last of which actually wrote something good.)  They were all virtually unkown (Rowling was on welfare for chrisake!!), and are now the proud owners of multimillion dollar franchises.  2 of which already completed their films series'!!

I suppose it's just like every other form of entertainment.  Success depends on like 10% talent and 250grillion% incredibly good fortune Work ethic


FTFY.

Sure, folks get lucky but most successful people create their own luck through hard work and sacrifice.  Think of how many times you've decided to watch Wheel of Fortune instead of working on your book that night. Or the Saturday where you wanted to sleep in all day instead of researching your novel topic. IMHO, you have to be slightly obsessed to obtain that kind of success. All of us who allow life to get in the way of living find excuses (work schedule, the kids, the commute) while these people push past the obstacles.

I'm sorry, but that is a load of crap!

[www.durbnpoisn.comli.com image 32x32]

There is almost no coorelation at all between the amount of work and effort someone puts into their art, and whether or not they get noticed.  Some of the most dedicated musicians (for instance) that I've ever known, never got any kind of break, even though they are incredibly talented, very professional, and work very hard to get themselves noticed.  Yet there are legions of ...


Didn't mean to offend. I'm really speaking from personal experience and there may have been some projection on my part. I have a talent that I think is marketable and I've been told by people that they expected big things form me for a long time. But, I have used work, fatherhood, and a host of other things as excuses for why I couldn't do what was necessary to show people that I am talented. I don't question why them and not me because I know all of the times when I came home from work, poured a drink, and played PS3 until bed. So, I think that it has a lot more to do with work than we admit. Sure, people have it easier when they know someone and some people get lucky breaks but there has to be a more logical reason for most of it.
 
2013-12-31 02:05:15 PM

DROxINxTHExWIND: durbnpoisn: DROxINxTHExWIND: durbnpoisn: There are a few things I find disturbing about this.
First...  I read ALL the time.  I love to.  Yet, I've barely scratched the surface of the number of books out there.  And looking at these numbers, it would take many lifetimes to even come close.

Second...  If it's so difficult to get published professionally, let alone noticed as having written something worth reading, how the HELL did authors like Christopher Paolini (Erogon) get noticed at friggin 19, for writing a book that had nothing new or original in it?  And what about Stephanie Myers, EL James or even JK Rowling?  (the last of which actually wrote something good.)  They were all virtually unkown (Rowling was on welfare for chrisake!!), and are now the proud owners of multimillion dollar franchises.  2 of which already completed their films series'!!

I suppose it's just like every other form of entertainment.  Success depends on like 10% talent and 250grillion% incredibly good fortune Work ethic


FTFY.

Sure, folks get lucky but most successful people create their own luck through hard work and sacrifice.  Think of how many times you've decided to watch Wheel of Fortune instead of working on your book that night. Or the Saturday where you wanted to sleep in all day instead of researching your novel topic. IMHO, you have to be slightly obsessed to obtain that kind of success. All of us who allow life to get in the way of living find excuses (work schedule, the kids, the commute) while these people push past the obstacles.

I'm sorry, but that is a load of crap!

[www.durbnpoisn.comli.com image 32x32]

There is almost no coorelation at all between the amount of work and effort someone puts into their art, and whether or not they get noticed.  Some of the most dedicated musicians (for instance) that I've ever known, never got any kind of break, even though they are incredibly talented, very professional, and work very hard to get themselves noticed.  Yet there are ...


Not offended at all.  And I hope I didn't offend you.

For what it's worth, I commend what you are saying here, and can relate to it.
In my view, if you are an artist, and you wish to create art, then you should do it for that reason.  If one is doing it to become famous, they're barking up the wrong tree.
And for those that achieve that level of success, while barely putting any effort, it becomes very frustrating to those that are far more deserving.  And, for the record, I'm NOT talking about myself as a musician.  I never wanted to be famous.  I could barely handle the pressure at the level I DID play at.
 
2013-12-31 02:06:24 PM
 DROxINxTHExWIND:

I saw a tweet about a Writer's business plan workshop.

The idea is you pay $25 so someone can talk to you about your goals for the next year.

The secret to making money writing fiction is claiming to know the secret to making money writing fiction.
 
2013-12-31 02:07:58 PM

Klippoklondike: DROxINxTHExWIND: Pffft. Nobody ready anymore.

I think people still read, it's just shifting to e-readers.  I no longer have a major bookstore within 75 miles of my home.  I have to order what I want online, because the only remaining bookstores around here carry college text books, whatever the top selling fiction happens to be, and not much else.


Why aren't you using the Ishpeming Public Library? I don't know how big their holdings are but they are part of a huge interlibrary system.

My local library is also part of a huge system that I can find most non-academic books in and an ILL normally takes 2 days or less.
 
2013-12-31 02:09:56 PM
Much like the goldrush in bitcoin I (and most likely the author) are bitter we missed the goldrush in cryptozoological porn.
 
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