I read an article today about Samantha Shannon who will release a novel entitled The Bone Season this year. She is a literature student at Oxford University and many people say she could be the next billion dollar author, as her book will be one of seven books in a series.
She has everything going for her: a great premise, an education in writing, and a publisher willing to go out on a limb and publish her first book with wide distribution. She has just now begun blogging about her experience. I think, in her case, it has to do with the people who surround us and “who you know”. Her case is very similar to J.R.R. Tolkien’s in that she had little success until she sent a few chapters of her manuscript to a colleague at Oxford who told her she should send it to an agent. She went to the meeting with the colleague pen in hand, ready to receive critique, but was given advice to “publish this now.”
I read articles like this and realize that the publishing industry is indeed looking for the next J.K. Rowling. Why wouldn’t they want another billion dollar author? They desperately want to sell millions or billions of books and make money for their coffers. The show must go on. Sure, publishers will publish an author who is not really a best seller and still make money, but they like the golden child who brings in the big bucks.
I am encouraged by articles like this one. Shannon is pursuing a degree I already possess, a writer with less years experience in the game, and she just signed a big deal with a publisher for a seven book series. I will keep at it. I will listen to critique. I will never stop writing. I feel that my latest novel is the best work I have done in my life. Possibly I will meet the right person soon, and I have some leads due to the success of this blog.
My advice to you today is to keep working. Don’t ever quit. Keep blogging. Some of you I follow haven’t written anything in a while (at least on your blog). I challenge all of you to (as my dad used to say) “Get after it!” I will be getting after it, too.