I read a question from a frustrated author on Quora, who wanted to know why it was so hard to obtain a traditional publishing deal.
I think I’ve got a pretty good explanation why that is. The main reason, frustrated author, is that publishers want to make a vast profit from your book, and before they even think about asking for your full manuscript they need to have a gut feeling that the public would want to buy (in large numbers) what you have written.
Here’s what Mr Google says about selling books:
‘To make money, you need to sustain high sales for months on end.‘
Hmm… is this really possible in today’s ever-changing market? However, on further research it appears Dav Pilkey’s comic books might have achieved this. Strangely enough though, when I looked up the bestselling fiction genre, the answer appeared to be ‘Romance’.
Now then Mr/Ms author… if you can’t draw comic characters, perhaps you need to write the BIG romance of 2021. Will you inspired by Catherine Cookson or by E.L James? Will the hero get his leg over or not? Will the heroine bow and scrape before her master or tie his arms and legs to the bed? The trouble is, Catherine Cookson and E.L James might have already cornered the Romance market, and so what’s left for you, frustrated Quora author?
Why not turn your hand to non-fiction instead? Non-fiction bestsellers are apparently either inspirational books or memoirs. Regarding the latter, the celebrities (whether famous or not-so-famous) might unfortunately already have the memoir category sewn up. Within a few months of appearing on TV for the very first time, bookstores will have the memoir of any ‘celebrity’ in their front window. Nobody wants to read about your humdrum world, frustrated Quora author, and so you might as well forget about sending off your own life story. As for ‘Inspirational’ books, publishers don’t want to read about your I-survived-whatever-it-is story, unless you’re a celebrity. So… here’s an easy answer frustrated Quora author…
Become a celebrity first, and then you can write any old shite. Whatever it is, you’ll sell loads of books and make a fortune!