Came across a posting yesterday by Kristen McLean, an insider in the publishing field. She presented the following data about publishing sales for the 52 week period ending on 8-24-22.
Over half of the books published during that period sold under a thousand copies. That’s rough. But I guess it’s no rougher than the odds of breaking into the stratosphere of any art form. I bet if you did the math, and measured how many kids who picked up a paintbrush, golf club, guitar, camera, baseball, basketball or football, or strapped on toe shoes, or hell, even went to law school, actually make it to the rarified air in their chosen profession, and you would find comparable statistics.
All you can ask for is equal opportunity. There are no guaranteed outcomes.
And I don’t believe anyone enters into anything believing they will be successful at it. They usually engage in something to see if they will enjoy doing it. They stick with it because they have some aptitude for it. That gives them pleasure. Like sex.
Me? I knew I liked to tell stories. I’m completely full of shit. I also knew I could put the stories down on paper. A journeyman at best. I had written some poetry, some short stories, and even some decent screen plays. I was afraid of ever trying to write a novel. Until I met Claire.
Half the population of American adults believe that they have the idea for a novel in them. Only fifteen percent of those take their shot at writing one, and only six percent of those make it half-way. https://studyfinds.org/writing-books-life-worthy-of deal/#:~:text=NEW%20YORK%20%E2%80%94%20More%20than%20half%20of%20Americans,a%20mere%20six%20percent%20have%20gotten%20halfway%20through.
Ninety-seven percent of the people who start writing a novel never actually finish it.
Of the 30 out of 1000 who finish writing their novel, only six actually see their novel published.
Came across another interesting statistic. 53.8% of all writers are women, while 46.2% are men. Well done ladies. You rock.
So why bother? Why sit down and begin to bang out that great American novel?
I wrote The Wise Ass just to see if I could. With my children grown and my legal career beginning to wind down I suddenly had the time. Claire came into my life. I never expected to see it published. I thought it would be found with some of my other shit in a closet after I was dead. I felt like Roy Hobbs when I learned BRW was going to publish TWA.
I wrote the four that followed because, after seeing TWA take off, I knew I could. I loved the characters in TWA and wanted to see where they would take me. They still had stories to tell me. Claire continued to share her ideas and I had the typing elves signed to the pool for another six months.
And trust me, I was absolutely thrilled to see each of those books published. I’m still in the “pinch me” mode. Dream come true.
Cannot wait to see the public’s response to Where The Ley Lines Meet next June.
But most writers don’t get rich writing. The average median income for a writer in 2021 was $69,510. Most of us fall well below that number.
Although some well known writers get very rich, like Rowling, Patterson and King. https://www.statista.com/statistics/275232/earnings-of-the-wealthiest-authors-worldwide/
I’m talking multi-multi-millions.
Strangely enough, if you can believe the hype, TWA made it into the top 2.2% of Ms. Mclean’s statistics, although I’m not sure just where.
With each new book published, I hope to see The Claire Saga reach the 0.7%, or even 0.4%.
And sure, I would love to sit at the table with Rowling, Patterson and King. Who would say no to that?
Looking at their respective careers, I believe turning some of their works into films are what sent them into the stratosphere.
So, in order to get to that rarified lunch table, I need to manifest an introduction of The (now complete?) Claire Saga to Hollywood. Mr. Wahlberg are you listening?
That would be delicious icing on the cake. But hey, why not me? Stranger things have happened to me. Never stop dreaming!
But, as I sit here typing this, if nothing else ever happens, I remain absolutely thrilled and blessed to finally be able to call myself a writer. I beat the odds.
So, thank you my fine, five readers for helping get me here.
In the end, it’s all magic and luck.
Now I need to turn back into my day persona. Earn a living.
But first, a kitty cuddle and my rounds.
It’s hump day. I’m going to catch my breath at its apex and see how Friday is looking.
You fine, five readers do the same. And if any of you know Mr. Wahlberg, tell him, forget the bear, Claire is looking for him.
And let’s make today a great one.