The Writer’s Lot-tery

By way of Grumpy Old Bookman, I was interested to read an article by The Book Babes about what factors are involved in making or breaking a book. I guess it is the wont of any writer to engage – usually with a great deal of frustration – with the publishing industry and attempt to ‘crack’ it: that is, find the secret door through you may pass your book to a caring publisher who will help you market your work.

The article quotes the author Jim Lynch:

“It almost seems like you to have to border on obsessive-compulsive personality disorder to succeed,” says Lynch, who believes that the key to success is not only perseverance but also the ability to ignore how much “random crap” gets published and sells very, very well.”

“When I finally came to peace with my novel-writing obsession was when I came to the conclusion that it is my job/goal to write a novel good enough to deserve getting on the publishing roulette wheel. That’s really all a writer can do,” he observed in an e-mail message. “The rest, to some degree, is up to timing, luck, connections etc. And if you start dwelling too much on what it takes to get published or reading too much into what gets published or what does well, I think it not only hurts your chances of writing something strong and original, but it also nudges you closer to the writers’ ward of the nearest mental hospital.”

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Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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