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.


Corey Wilde said...

You have a good outlook, Joe. I do feel badly for the wonderful writers whose work deserves an audience (or a wider audience), but get little or no support from the publisher. It's going to be very interesting to see how e-books alter the publishing/buying/reading landscape in the next decade.

Joe Barone said...

Since I am retired, there is no pressure for me. I hurt for the really good writers whose work I would love to read more of, but they can't get it published. That's why I think blogs like yours and the other book blogs are important. They lead people to good books we might not otherwise have heard of.