I attended a local author gathering on Saturday at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego. There were about 25 authors there along with 20 or 30 prospective buyers. It was a meet and greet event, which gave authors not only the opportunity to sell some books, but also to hobnob with other authors and share war stories.
Events like this—unless you’re John Grisham or Patricia Cornwell—do not generally yield many sales. If an author can sell 6 or7 books, he or she is doing well. Even though a bookstore sponsors an event like this primarily to sell books—why else would they host such an event?—I believe it serves the authors better than the buyers or the bookstore.
I spoke to about half a dozen authors one on one and asked about their journey from obscurity to publication. Although each account had unique circumstances, there were remarkable similarities in each author’s story. The one common denominator consistent with every author I spoke to was that years of rejection preceded success.
Any artist—whether a painter, writer, sculptor, vocalist, or musician—pays their dues. There are few, if any, overnight success stories. Now you might believe that a particular person made it big on the fast track, but that’s only because you never heard of them and don’t know that they’ve been at it for 15 painful, lonely years.
The moral of the story is a simple one: rejection is a prerequisite of success. So if your dream is to be the next J.K. Rowling or Pablo Picasso, prepare yourself for a long, arduous journey.
UPDATE: I’m 45,000 words into Hypocrisy, my fourth novel. And don’t forget, Amazon Publishing will release, I Do Solemnly Swear, my third novel on October 16. Check it out. http://tiny.cc/mtmfkw
Stay tuned for more updates.