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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 26
    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 (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2013-12-31 01:41:06 PM
3 votes:
If you're good, you'll be successful. Most writers aren't very good.
2013-12-31 11:45:29 AM
3 votes:
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 01:39:59 PM
2 votes:

If Stephine Meyer can get published so can you.

2013-12-31 01:04:36 PM
2 votes:
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 12:54:11 PM
2 votes:
This author just wrote an article about his financial incentive to discourage you from writing.
2013-12-31 11:14:28 AM
2 votes:
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 05:36:31 PM
1 votes:

uber humper: I rarely read fiction.  Out of the 120-130 books I've bought in the last 18 months, just a handful were fiction and if I do it's usually from the late 1800s.  Sherlock Holmes can take up quite a few evenings.


Did you catch the Neil Gaiman short story, written in Doyle's style, but set in a Cthulhu setting?

Study in Emerald, might have been the title, but don't hold me to it.

I thought it was outstanding, and I'm not that big a Gaiman fan.
2013-12-31 04:19:38 PM
1 votes:
Art, if it is to vault one into the public conscious, has to be catchy.   Once you're there, it's your stage.

Gershwin got famous not for Rhapsody in Blue but for Swanee.
Who you know? Sure, there's that.  Knowing William Daly certainly came in handy, but it didn't make George's work good and it didn't make it catchy.   Do you think Al Jolson wanted to water down his stardom with something less than catchy?  No, he knew what to sell.  Key word: sell.  If money's your aim, you'll get it the same way everyone else does: by working within the rules or making the rules work for you.

That's the joke on all you who don't want to "sell out."  You think you deserve my money because you wrote something beautiful?  It doesn't work that way.  You can get rich like JP Morgan, but you'll notice he didn't leverage the unbalanced legal system to steal a non-catchy idea.  He knew what the public wanted.  If you want to write something the public don't want, go a-farking-head.  You won't get their money.  That's the "secret" to capitalism: it's trading something people want ("catchy" is just code for "something lots of people will like") for something you've convinced to want less than it (money or whatever the hell else you want from them).  If you can make your art compatible with what people want while remaining true to your principles, maybe you're as clever as you think you are.

That's why my novel, John Galt's Twilight Potter Games Bible is doing so well.
2013-12-31 02:38:22 PM
1 votes:
Want to be a successful novelist? Marry a rich divorcee who owns a publishing company.
2013-12-31 02:21:38 PM
1 votes:
2011 books published: traditionally published 347,178; self-published 235,000

76 percent of all books released in 2008 were self-published


Something is wrong with these statistics.
2013-12-31 02:13:14 PM
1 votes:
durbnpoisn:

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.



Truer words never spoken.
2013-12-31 01:49:58 PM
1 votes:
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 01:43:40 PM
1 votes:

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 01:26:08 PM
1 votes:
And you're guaranteed to not write the great American novel if you don't even try.
2013-12-31 01:16:39 PM
1 votes:

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 01:14:54 PM
1 votes:

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


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
2013-12-31 01:13:47 PM
1 votes:

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 01:09:53 PM
1 votes:

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 01:09:18 PM
1 votes:

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 01:06:35 PM
1 votes:
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 01:05:13 PM
1 votes:

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 12:58:27 PM
1 votes:
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 12:57:44 PM
1 votes:
There is no hate like failed novelist hate.
2013-12-31 12:57:29 PM
1 votes:
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 12:55:14 PM
1 votes:
"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 12:54:10 PM
1 votes:
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.
 
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