Bindings: Reflections on faith, life, and good books
3/4/13 at 03:19 AM 2 Comments

Improving the Odds

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85% of all manuscripts written will not be substantially published. That sounds so depressing. However, the reason that they aren’t substantially published is because the people involved do not take time to be in a critique group or get their product edited, didn’t go to conferences or workshops and learn their craft, didn’t make their product exceptional enough to stand out from the crowd . . . or just gave up after they got a few rejections.

I can’t think of any business that someone can just do without learning how. Even posthole digging requires learning a few simple techniques. So why do so many think they can just automatically write a book and it be a bestseller without learning the right skills? Or can just send it off and get it published without learning the right way to do it?

The good news is if we are learning our craft, if we are getting the product right and doing the submissions right, we aren’t competing with this 85%, we are in the 15% that is actually in the running. Much better odds, wouldn’t you say? The writers that substantially publish take the time to learn what they are doing, then they have the patience to see it through.

That’s my 2 cents worth anyway.

Terry Burns is an agent with Hartline Literary, a member of the AAR (Association of Author's Representatives), and a writer of inspirational fiction (over 40 books in print, including 10 novels). He has a new series, The Sagebrush Collection, of short works, with On the Road Home the first release. His young adult book Beyond the Smoke won the Will Rogers Medallion. A Writer's Survival Guide to Publication was developed out of the month-long course he held for ACFW. Terry is a popular speaker at workshops across the country.

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