I recently received a question from a student from a school I visited. I thought I would share the question and answer for others who might be interested.
Molly asked me: “How hard is it to get a book published?” She went on to explain what her current project was about.
Here is the response:
Thanks for your question. The concept for your book sounds very interesting. I’m going to answer your questions as honestly as I can, here it goes:
Yes, getting a book published is hard. It takes a lot of patience, persistence, passion, hard work and ability to take rejection (maybe a lot of it.)
BUT, you will never know if you have a publishable project unless you finish it and edit it many, many times.
Here’s some additional insight, I think you might consider: If you love writing, maybe you can think of the publishing part as “secondary” to that hobby. But, believe me, I understand wanting to know if your dream can be achieved. I can tell you it’s achievable, because it happened to me. If you asked a hundred other writers, a lot of them would tell you the opposite because they haven’t had their “lucky break” yet.
Here are a few more things to think about:
JK Rowling’s Harrry Potter was rejected countless times before a publisher took a chance on her. If I did a little Google research, I’ll bet I could find lots of other examples like this.
For me, JUST ADD MAGIC was the third full book I wrote for publication as an adult (not counting all the pieces I wrote when I was younger). The other two were never good enough to send out for professional consideration.
So, if you ask me “Do I think you should continue to work on your current project?” My answer is YES. You should finish it, share it, edit it, edit it more, share it again, edit it more.
This is what it all comes down to, Molly: “I can promise you that you won’t get published if you don’t have a good, solid, finished project to shop around.”
I hope this helps.