Monday, October 26, 2015
Jules Older on the odds of getting your book published.............
As with acting and singing, the odds against success in writing are formidable. No, make that impossible. The chances of us becoming paid and published writers are about the same as the winner of our high school’s talent contest becoming the next Madonna. Not. Gonna. Happen.
And yet, it did. Worked for Madonna Louise Ciccone, worked for Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, and in considerably smaller and quieter ways, worked for us. We beat the odds.
And look at the odds we beat.
Getting published in a big newspaper? As the editor of the Baltimore Sun said, on accepting (or maybe rejecting; it's been awhile) my article, “The odds against getting published in the Sun are considerably higher than getting accepted by Harvard or Princeton.”
Magazines? Worse than papers. Always were; now also worse than magazines of the past … just as papers, constantly downsizing and economizing, are worse than papers past.
Getting a book published? Can't be done. Never could. Slush piles — when there were slush piles — routinely ignored. And now that the sub-editor in charge of slush piles has become a teacher/social worker/naturopath, even that barely open window has been shuttered. “Sorry, but if you're not already famous, we aren't about to put your name in lights. Not even LEDs.”
And yet, and yet, here we are, still struggling, still bitching, still publishing. Even the dawning of the Digital Age hasn't felled us. OK, most of us.
But it has changed those odds. More