The Four Reasons You Are Not Published
The Four Reasons You Are Not Published
There are a lot of writers who proudly declare that they are House-Right-Brained, the side of the brain that is associated with creativity. Since those people who are business oriented, logical thinkers consider themselves to be House-Left-Brained, the artsy bunch proudly wave their imagination flags and disdain the rational thinkers and all that they stand for.
Guess what? That theory has been debunked for quite a while now. Although creativity is stronger on the right side, language comes from the left. Writers can no longer say that they are one or the other. So suck it up people. Writing is a business. If you understand language then the critical thinking side of your brain works just fine. You are running a business and you need to put on your big kid pants and act like you are. You are a company. You have a product that you need to sell—preferably for a profit.
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I’ve heard the phrase it’s just business, not personal my entire life. As writers it is your job to separate the two. A company does not have all the feels. Business has a product. They sell that product for a profit. At the end of the day, they will buy what they need to make their product at a price that they consider reasonable in order to make money.
Writing fiction is about emotion. Publishing is about profit. Until you learn to separate the two, you need to stay off of the internet and quit making a fool of yourself. Take off those entitled pants and put on some pajamas like a proper writer. The world does not owe you anything. You have to earn your place. Already published authors do not owe you a critique of your work. They are a business. They have to produce their own product to sell. Their books and time are their currency. You wouldn’t ask them to give you twenty-five dollars so don’t ask for their books, or for their time.
Literary agents don’t owe you diddly-squat either. Neither do editors. A rejection on one book doesn’t mean there will be no’s forever—at least not until you start feeling all of the feels and shoot off your mouth. You are a business. Act like one. Show people who have succeeded in your arena some respect. Otherwise, what you’re selling is the equivalent to and gains the respect of a small child with a lemonade stand at the side of the road. People think that they are cute and might be a real business person in thirty years, but no one takes them seriously now.
So if you are sending your manuscript out with the intention of selling it and making a profit. Here are the reasons it is not sold.
1. It isn’t good enough yet. A painter wouldn’t expect to sell a water color that they made in first grade. Your first manuscript will probably not sell. That’s just how it is. Sure you could be struck by lightning or win the Powerball. People do. It doesn’t hurt to try. You’ll learn how to act and the experience will do you good even if you don’t sizzle and fry in electric glory.
2. You’re trying to sell lemons to a strawberry company. Unless you have what that company needs for their inventory, they will not buy what you’re selling. Maybe next year they might want lemons. It isn’t personal. It is business. An agent who specializes in mystery probably won’t take on your fantasy. Try looking for an agency that specializes in fantasy. Maybe it will work. If not—see reason one and write another, better book.
3. You’re selling chocolate ice cream to someone who already has stockpiled enough ice cream to last until 2020. Even if their favorite is chocolate, they don’t need any more. Once again, it isn’t personal. They don’t need what you have. Here lies the danger of following trends. Once it is actually something you notice, everyone already has all that they want.
4. Your manuscript is golden. The company who wants your story looks you up on the internet and finds that your main online occupation is calling successful authors names, moaning about publishing and how it has wronged you unfairly, and spamming people with requests to review your books online. Basically they discover that you feel all the feels, have no self-control, and are an ass-hat—and not a business person.
Companies have no feelings but the people who work for those businesses have plenty. Not one, if given the choice, chooses to work with big, entitled, baby-pants. Everyone has bad days. Do yourself a favor, stay off the internet, and quit ranting at successful people. They absolutely do not have a magic wand hidden in their office. They cannot bap you in the head to make you an instant success. They worked hard to get where they are, and they do not owe you anything.
Not. One. Thing.
Written by Julie Butcher