Will Your First Book Be Published?
4 Reasons You Should Write Several Books Before Seeking Publication
There is a cliché in publishing that by the time a writer finally gets published, she already has a whole stack of novels completed and hidden in a drawer, never to see the light of day. No writer gets their first book published, right?
Well, there are exceptions of course, but mostly, it’s true. Nearly all successfully published authors will have written two or more books before they get their first contract offer. Here’s why:
1. Practice. It takes most people a few tries to write a viable and saleable novel. Like it or not, this is true for the overwhelming majority of writers.
2. Repeatabilty. If you haven’t finished more than one full-length book, you don’t have a good feel for whether or not you can do it over and over again.
3. Timing. If you haven’t written multiple books, you’re not able to accurately predict how much time it takes you to write one, and therefore signing a multi-book contract is problematic. How do you know if you’ll be able to meet your deadlines?
4. Confidence. If you’ve finished multiple books, then you’ll go into your first publishing contract with more confidence. You’ll know you’re a writer. You’ll be less bothered by that nagging worry that maybe that one book you wrote was a fluke.
I’ve seen too many cases now of writers going into multi-book contracts unprepared, and find themselves unable to finish multiple books in the amount of time the publisher has allotted. This can harm your career, but not only that, it’s painful! You can avoid it by being adequately prepared, and there’s only one way to do that: write, write, write.
Q4U: How many complete books have you written (publishable or not)? If you’re published, how many books had you written before signing that first contract?
© 2011 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent