Monday, November 09, 2009

The Call...Luck? Timing? Skill?

I'm always excited when I hear of an author securing a contract, especially if it's a really sweet deal. With talk in the publishing world about cutbacks, huge slush piles, and book stores folding, it's hard to keep an upbeat attitude toward the one thing we writers do...write and hope for publication. It's a tough road. We battle demons of self-doubt, pressures from friends and family who don't understand the sweat and tears that go into the books we write, and fear of failure.

Writers write. We crank out book after book and wait for "the call." We do need skill. Not everyone can write a book, although many believe differently. It does take a bit of luck in landing your manuscript on the right desk. And at the right time. There is no secret formula that will lead to instant success.

The one constant though is perseverance and developing a thick skin. What is it that makes an editor or publishing house sit up and take notice? Voice. Pure and simple. It's the all important first sentence. The hook. Voice is unique to each person. It's the way you write. You may not know what your voice is, but the editor or agent can spot a voice they like immediately. Likewise, they can spot one they don't like. Editors and agents make mistakes. Occasionally, books will be turned down by many agents and snapped up to instant success by another. Check out this story:

So the one thing that every writer should remember is to remain true to their voice and to never, ever give up. Success might be just a phone call away.

Thanks for stopping by!

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