No, you probably don’t have a book in you


From the horse’s mouth – reality check for wannabe writers.

Remember writing papers in school? Remember trying to eke out 1,000 words or three pages or whatever seemingly arbitrary number a teacher set? Remember making the font bigger and the margins wider? You can’t do that to a book. I ‘m often sent stories that are way too long or too short for the publishing industry, and that makes them bad candidates for books. The average novel, for adults or children, is at least 50,000 words. That’s 50 three-page papers. Shorter books are not cheaper for the publisher to make, for many reasons too boring to get into here, and no, it’s not just cheaper to do ebooks, either. (No, really, it’s not.) If you’re an epic writer and think breaking up your 500,000-word fantasy series into five books is the key, you’re wrong there, too. A publisher doesn’t really want book two until they see how book number one is selling. And if your story doesn’t wrap up until book five, then you’re going to have nothing but disappointed readers. Writing — just getting the words on the page — is hard, period. Writing artfully so that someone enjoys what you’re writing is even harder.

The complete article

Kate McKean — The Outline

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2 thoughts on “No, you probably don’t have a book in you

  1. I’m sure not everyone thinks they have a book in them. It is also necessary to note that publishers and editors do not make the craft of writing, nor do they support the art, nor do they speak in a unified voice.
    In fact, most big publishers around haven’t published anything “artful” in years, to the point of pity.
    Wannabe writers should work hard above all else, and not take the word of lousy editors that want to bloodsuck as much capital value from a book as they can, since they don’t seem to have books in them either, otherwise they would be writing them.

  2. Thanks for bringing out the other side of the coin. For me, I took home the point that writing a book is real hard work.

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