Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Publishing Truth

Got word from Caitlin - she's halfway through the manuscript and it's looking very clean.  She hopes to have the annotated manuscript back to me next week, which means ONE MORE ROUND OF CHANGES!  Ugh.  I thought for sure I'd have this ready to go out to editors, but hey, if Caitlin wants to be  a perfectionist on this, I'm not gonna complain!  As a wise man once said, "GIT 'ER DONE!"

Ok, a semi-wise man.

Anyway, back to the SCBWI conference.  The first speaker, as I mentioned, was Lindsey Barrett George.  She did a great demo of how the publishing process works, more so from a picture book perspective, but it was still pretty applicable.

I won't go into details, but one thing did strike me as an eye-opener.  Now this site is OPTIMISM ABOUNDS, so take this as a nice problem to have, not something to dissuade you:

There ain't a lot of money to be made in just writing a book.

SHOCKER!  I know, I know, I should've put SPOILER ALERT at the top.  Seriously, though, you probably already knew that, right?  I mean, nobody really writes to become rich and famous anymore because so few people actually DO become rich and famous.  Oh sure, you have the Stephanie Meyers story, or the J.K. Rowlings of the world, but for the two of them there are hundreds of thousands of authors who've written really good books that are available at your local bookstore.

$.25 for every book sold - that's what you're getting...maybe...if you're published.  So if you were a blockbuster and sold a million copies, you'd be getting $250k.  Not bad, but not something to sustain you the rest of your life.

Why am I berating this point?  Because writing isn't about the dollars.  Even if you luck out and get a ton of cash, the story is the real thing.  It's the only thing.  If it makes it into a movie or is just a small seller, you've done something that very few people can ever say they've done:  you cemented your legacy in history.  Your book will always be available in the Library of Congress.  One hundred years from now, your future generations can still read your words.  Your story will continue to be told.

That's pretty cool.  So if you get the "harsh reality" talk about publishing and how little it pays, remember:  we're talking about something much more valuable than money.  We're talking immortality - for both you AND your characters.

...but if you want to dream about millions, go for it!

...I know I will!


  1. I'd LOVE to be able to go to a SCBWI conference.

    I'm excited to hear about your annotated manuscript progress. Let me know when I can buy a copy on Amazon!

    Hope all is well, Kevin.

  2. You should definitely look into it, Mary. I know they have scholarships that they fund for those who can't afford it, and if you write children's book the lessons are invaluable, not to mention the contacts with editors and agents!


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