Stepping over bumps, on the road to authorship …

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I love some of the reactions I receive when I mention that I’ve just completed my manuscript, and I’m submitting for agents and editors. One of the following usually happens:

1. The person is as elated over my accomplishment as I am. They wish me well and tell me to keep them posted on my progress.

2. The person will say, “that’s great” and then mention they’ve just written a book as well, and are submitting. We both suggest putting some time aside to encourage each other.

3. The person will say, “Oh, you know most books only sell 500, and it’s so competitive out there. By the way, if you don’t mind my asking, how much does a book sell for these days? I have a few I’m looking to publish.”

By far, number 3 gives me the most grief.

You know the old adage. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” There are too many who don’t take heed.

I don’t mind having the reality of the publishing industry quoted. Frankly, I’d prefer good wishes that aren’t doused by the flames of insecurity or envy, with industry statistics used as a cover.

I follow the industry and I’m learning the business. Everyone has a story to tell. Yes, authorship is competitive, but so is practicing law. According to WikiAnswers, there is one lawyer for every 265 Americans.

While, I can’t surmise that there’s as many would-be authors as lawyers in the world, I will say that each of us has a chance to sell our work, and without belittling someone’s else dream to do the same.

Someone has suggested that becoming a bestselling author is like trying to win the jackpot. That dose of wisdom really made me wonder. What’s that say for all the authors that ARE bestselling novelists? My guess, is that it’s a mighty big jackpot and that means there’s room for me.

I’m going to continue to write, and hone my skills with the wonderfully encouraging words of well wisher number 3, etched on my brain. I will learn the business, and listen to the advice of the experts. Also, I will hand well wisher number 3 a copy of my book.

Does anyone else get these types of well wishes?

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