It is a valid question. What happens to writers who fail to find a paying publisher? What happens if there’s no agent to take you on? What if that book sits on your desk, hundreds of pages worked over, money and time invested, countless mornings and evenings when you could have been socializing, being with your family, doing something?
I bet you would feel better if the answer was “You’ll sell the next one.” Well, that’s not necessary true. You might not. Van Gough never sold a creative painting while he was alive.
So here comes the next question. Are you writing to make money? Or are you or writing because you have to?
If you are writing for money, you should do writing that makes money. Non-fiction would be a start, then research will point you to… history, textbooks, and cookbooks. But what about Stephen King? Well he sells his books, not yours. There always will be those few titles that put book buyers into frenzy, but they are far and few between.
What is your book worth? What if you worked a minimum wage job? Take those hours, multiply by eight, add all the cost of those programs, the gas for critique groups, buying coffee, and ink for the printer – it’s not a small amount of money.
Well here’s the news – at that point, you have a hobby, just like a model train builder, a runner, or a knitter.
But here’s the fact. You are a writer. Not writer sells their writing. Not every skater goes to the Olympics. Not every baseball player goes to the World Series.
Bottom line? If it didn’t sell, write another. Learn what did and didn’t work. It could be that one armed zombie doctors in Alaska is not a good subject. Maybe your manuscript was full of typos. I could list 100 things that could stop your sale, 50 of which you cannot control.
However, if you are serious, you can for little or no money create an eBook and have your book for sale on the web.
The point is this – what if your book doesn’t sell? You continue being you.
It will be your decision whether you will continue to be a writer, not some editor or agent. Just like it was you who decided to write that book in the first place.
What happens? You tell me.
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