There’s a lot being published, but people seem less prepared to take risks – particularly on new and emerging authors.
Instead of producing completely new works, I’ve seen a definite trend with publishers in Australia to republish things that have sold well – but in a different format. Or they commission established writers to work on projects that their marketing departments think or know from experience will bring sales.
This is all great! It means authors are still getting their work published and there are still fabulous books out there to be read…and we all understand publishers have to make a living.
But unfortunately, if you haven’t established yourself as a writer yet, it seems to be getting harder and harder to break into mainstream publishing.
At the moment, I have six projects out on submission across different genres – two YAs (one verse, one prose), one mid-grade novel, one chapter book, one stand alone picture book and a picture book series.
And for a while there, I started to think that my submissions were going into the Bermuda Triangle. I sent them out and never heard word of them again. Thankfully, I’ve had a couple of positive responses lately, but I have come to accept that this is the way of publishing. Agents and publishers receive so many submissions that they just don’t have time to respond to all of them.
So I’m taking ‘no response’ to mean ‘no thank you’ and I’m moving on.
I’m looking at what I’ve written and reworking it if necessary, and some submissions I’m simply sending elsewhere. (In a strategic way of course – after researching and finding out who has an interest in the kind of thing I write)
Fortunately, I have a group of truly wonderful and supportive writerly friends who understand how all this feels and who pep me up when I’m feeling despondent.
In the end I know it’s up to me. I find that the best cure for the writing blues, to drag me out of that black hole of uncertainty is to write.
Writing is the thing we have control over. It allows us to immerse ourselves in a world that has less pressure and stress. It allows us to express how we feel, to challenge ourselves, to make us consider events and circumstances outside our experience.
Writing makes me happy. It gives me hope.
There’s always the hope that this is the manuscript publishers will fall in love with. If I don’t have anything to submit, then there’s no hope of publication.
We have to dream, hope and we have to write. It’s who we are. Writing helps us move on.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula to getting published, but the one certain thing is that we have to keep writing – for us, for our future readers. We have to write our way through these difficult times in publishing.
How do you cope with rejection/uncertainty/lack of progress with your writing career? Please feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions. They may help other writers to keep writing.
Have hope, stay strong and happy writing:)
P.S. Next week I’m having a special event here at the Deescribe writing to help writers who are looking for a crit buddy or writer’s group.