Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Like Finding True Love

This week, Publishers Weekly Editor-in-Chief, Sara Nelson wrote about the making of a bestseller. She said, "Discovering a book that works is like finding true love."

If you are wondering about your book idea, you will receive some encouragement from this article. I've written in these entries about the subjective nature of publishing. If we knew how to create a bestseller, then it would "automatically" happen. Yet it doesn't. As Nelson says, "Often, the rules don't hold." Then she gives some current examples of books on the bestseller list which have broken the standard expectations.

One of the books Nelson mentions is The Shack. I've written about this book in these entries on The Writing Life. I talked about the book with a number of my editorial colleagues. Some of them loved it. Others could not complete it (a sign they didn't like it or the content or craft bothered them). Yet The Shack has caught the imagination of the reading public and continues to be a mainstay on the bestseller list. For every book like The Shack, there are many others which never catch hold.

If I could understand the reason and bottle it, I would make a fortune. One of the keys is to have an excellent submission in the first place. Many writers are missing a key element and send an incomplete submission. In the rush of looking at material, if something is missing or doesn't resonate, it gets rejected or set aside. Every writer has a responsibility to take the time and energy to learn the craft of writing and also how to create an excellent proposal. Even experienced writers will benefit from this teleseminar that I created.

Whatever challenges you are facing today, determine your way ahead. I loved Nelson's conclusion, "You take your risks, you make mistakes, and you start with your heart."

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3 Comment:

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Avily Jerome Left a note...

As always, thanks for the resources, Terry!

That's a great article.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Kristi Holl Left a note...

Ahhh, "you start with your heart." I love that. How often do we give ourselves permission to really do that? Although I struggled to finish The Shack, I applaud how the story gripped such a huge number of people. It obviously met a need. Thanks for the encouragement.
Kristi Holl
Writer's First Aid blog

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Krista Phillips Left a note...

I'm with Kristi, I love the line "You start with your heart". It doesn't end there, but it sure does start there!


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