How Much to Write
How Much to Write
Very often on your journey into becoming a writer you will hear people say that it is impossible to make a living writing one book. I’ve heard this many times from both people I know and doing web searches on different aspects of writing. But if you can’t make a living off of one book how come we have so many books available to us? The key is that a vast majority of authors have written a large body of work, writing as many books as they can. Writing becomes a full-time job until they get enough material in the market place to sustain them. The key to success in writing is volume.
It is amazing how often I hear young writers, people who’ve never had anything published, point to the small handful of people who had a first novel get picked up or wrote one book that became a successful movie. These young writers think that they can produce one book and achieve the same results. This small handful of writers are the exceptions, not the rules. As I detailed in a previous blog, for every first novel published and every single book author you point to I can point to thousands of people who had a first book that didn’t even get looked at by a publisher.
The key to finding success in writing is to write as much as you can. The truth about the publishing industry is that it is an industry. The publishing companies are trying to turn as much profit as they can with the least amount of expense. Standard business practice. It becomes very easy to get highly emotionally invested into our own writing. Writers look at their books the way a parent looks at a child. Just like the parent who takes over as coach on their untalented daughter’s basketball team, playing their daughter over better players, as writers we think that each one of our books should be the next best-seller that turns into the movie of the year.
In reality, there are thousands of books being placed in front of publishers every week. Everyone thinks that their book is the next big thing. For a publisher to bring a book to market, they have to commit a lot of time and a lot of money. There is promotional work, advertising, legal issues and distribution just to name a few. All of this is time and money. When a publisher looks at a writer they have all these issues in the back of their mind. It is almost impossible for the publishing house to recoup all their investment in a single book.
This is where writing multiple works is so important. You might have written an excellent book that would be a best seller, but if that’s all you have and you are competing against someone who has five books ready to be brought to the market place, the publisher will more often than not go with the person who has five books. The reason is simple; each book takes less and less promotion than the last. As the author’s name is developed they build a fan base that will buy their work without all the promotion that a first novel needed. The more works an author has, the more likely it is they have a best seller on their hands. If someone has ten books, five of them duds, three have average sales and two are best sellers the publishing house will have fared better than one best seller.
It’s almost impossible to tell what book is going to be a best seller and what isn’t going to sell. There are many great books out there that never developed a fan base. Many authors that have great concepts that never took off. There are also books that have been on the best seller’s list that aren’t very good. The publisher can only guess, at best, what will sell and what won’t. They have some experience in guessing what works and what doesn’t, but they are wrong from time to time.
This is where the need to write as much as possible comes in. I already talked about writing every day. If you wrote 2,000 words every day in one year you would have written 730,000 words. That’s eight full-length novels in one year. Or you could write some novels and short stories, or novels and blogs and articles. The more work you have to show, the better chance you have of getting a publisher’s attention. If you’ve been submitting editorials and articles that have been printed in newspapers, magazines and blogs then you have already started to develop your fan base. If you have released short stories on the internet then people already know you as a writer. You’ve started the process of building your fan base and publishers take that into consideration.
The more you’ve written the better the chance you have a successful book on your hands. The more you write the better you will become at writing. You have to remember that publishing houses are a business and businesses need to make money to stay in business. Increase your odds of getting noticed. When you show up to the publisher’s door have a number of books ready to go. Show them the articles and blogs you’ve written. Give them a good reason to notice you.
You might have one great idea in your mind for a novel, something you think everyone will love. But after reading this blog you might be scratching your head wondering how to get ideas on what to write about. Stay tuned, next week my blog will focus on great ways to get amazing ideas that audiences and publishing houses will love. Thank you.
To see my published works, please head over to www.leifericksonwriting.com and purchase my books today. Thank you.