Thursday, November 26, 2015

Less Than Great Expectations

You've labored over your manuscript for countless hours, fine tuning, polishing, revising, and everything else to make it the best possible novel.

Yes, it's a creative effort, and you should feel proud of your accomplishment. A lot of folks talk about writing a novel, but once they embark on that solitary journey, they find out it's a more arduous than imagined. 

You wait to see your manuscript evolve into a print or e-book, probably both with the new technology. You're happy and proud with your creation. You can't wait to share those thousands of words with the world.

But then reality begins to set in.  While you may receive some adulation and some sincere praise from some family members, some friends, some acquaintances, and some people you don't know, that doesn't equate into thousands of copies of your book flying off the bookshelves into the hands of readers or across cyberspace into e-tablets. 

At least for the vast majority of authors.

I'm not going to get into all the figures, but if you find the time, read "The 10 Awful Truths About Publishing" to get an idea about the odds of becoming a successful (by that, I mean bestselling) author.

Now don't get me wrong, there are some successful authors out there. I have several author friends who are doing quite well. But I know many more who aren't doing that well. 

Now there are some things you need to understand. While you have a love of books, many others don't, for various and sundry reasons. The Pew Research Center reported in October that fewer American adults are reading a book, dropping to 72 percent from 79 percent. 

And a report by the National Endowment for the Arts last year revealed that only 55 percent of adults read a book for pleasure.

Books are part of a vast information and entertainment commerce. Rather than purchase books, many people would rather spend their hard-earned money on sporting events, music concerts, theatrical shows, music downloads, movies -- you get the idea. Books are simply part of the mix.

I'm not trying to dissuade writers from writing. I'm certainly not making a living from my writing. I belong to that proud group of starving artists.

So why do I write?

It's creative expression for me. I love telling stories (and reading them as well). I think it's fulfilling on many levels: thinking, composing, working with others (editors, graphic artists, etc.), and simply keeping my brain active. That's where I find my joy in writing -- and why I'll continue to be a writer.

And maybe one day the timing will be right and I'll become a bestselling author. 

Until the next time....

No comments:

Post a Comment