Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Writing a book is like entering the lottery
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Writing a book is like entering the lottery. That is if you hope to have the book published and read by a reasonable number of people.
This report says that there were about 275,000 U.S. books published in 2008. That doesn't include print-on-demand books.
So, my little book, whatever it is, falls into a sea of other books. A major portion of the sales in that sea come from a few well-known big-time writers. Or the other few who win the lottery.
For someone like me, that is a freeing thought. I can write for myself, and whatever happens to what I write is up to the gods.
But if you hope to make your living as a writer, you probably have the same chance as you would have being hit by lightening, or maybe less.
People who write book blogs are trying to help you in your swim upstream. Most of the blogs I read promote mid-list or lower books. They hope to increase readership for good, but maybe little-noticed, books.
I write this blog for myself. I read books to put them on the blog. It is a way of holding myself accountable. I also use it as a way of working through my own issues--like, Why do I write? I don't write to become a famous writer. There's as much chance of that happening as there is of me winning one hundred million dollars.
I write because I like the challenge of putting words together. And I enjoy learning to do what I do better than I did the last time. Again, all the rest of it is up to the gods of fate and fortune.