Every author strives to show his work to the public. This is normal – a parent’s natural desire to show off their child. Friends praise, colleagues applaud vigorously. Publishers look and do not publish. Why?
Because the first work is the author’s personal credit, and it is interesting only to his close people.
And editors need absolute records – that is, books that will look good compared to other publications. No one cares that the author spent three years writing the book, rummaged through mountains of material and performed the miracle of creating a finished paper.
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A newbie’s book is not accepted, not because an editor is a villainous fool, but because the reader in the bookstore will always choose a master, unless the newbie somehow contrives to attract attention. The store will return the unsold copies to the publisher, and then where to put this goodness? Who will recover losses?
Times are changing and it is getting harder to get published. But this is more beneficial for everyone.
In retrospect, many successful writers would have preferred that their early essays were not published at all: after five to ten years, they feel ashamed of their inept opuses. But if you do not initially believe in your own talent, then how can you make yourself write a second, third, fourth novel?
The first success is a publication in a book series, a fee of five to seven hundred dollars and a passionate hope for recognition. Friends say: “Nice, nice, but not that very …”, criticism ignores. Someone after that leaves literature, someone becomes a literary man, someone writes in their own series.
Authors who have kept afloat fall into two unequal categories: middle peasants and authors with a future.
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The average person writes pretty quickly – it takes him two to six months to write a book. Some people manage to prepare a novel in thirty or forty days, but this pace cannot be maintained for a long time.
Circulation – from two to fifteen thousand copies, reprints are rare, the stake is on new works, because it is for them that the authors receive their fifteen to three thousand dollars.
The average person does not live well, but still has the opportunity to do what he loves. He often scolds publishers (“The bookstores sell some nonsense! Art is dead!”), Scolds readers, dreams of state support for literature and a foreign agent who will attach him to foreign publishing houses.
What awaits such an author? Nothing. Reason? He is so comfortable in his fantastic worlds, so pleasant to believe in his genius that someone else will always be to blame for his relative lack of demand. He is reluctant to develop, and he just churns out the very nonsense with which bookstores are crammed.
It is a great luck if the first work has already become known. But more often the path to fame is long and thorny. Fortune immediately smiled at some of the writers, but most had to fight for a place in the sun.
The next morning woke up famous
Jules Verne began his writing career as a playwright. He was only 22 years old when his play The Broken Straws was staged at the “Historical Theater” by Dumas. The production was a success, which prompted the author to continue his literary work. In 1863, Pierre-Jules Etzel’s magazine published the first novel from the famous cycle “Unusual Travels”. The audience greeted “Five weeks in a hot air balloon” very warmly, and after that Jules Verne chose the path of science fiction writer.
Scared and searched
The stories of many famous writers did not start out so smoothly, although, seeing their success today, it is hard to believe. 30 publishers refused to print Stephen King’s first book “Carrie”. At some point, the writer even threw out the manuscript. For the fact that the public was still able to get acquainted with the book, we must thank his wife, who insisted on several more attempts.
Marcel Proust was also not easy. The collection of poems “Joy and Days” was received very coldly. The book was elegantly designed and cost twice as much as other similar ones. But this did not help in any way to win the heart of the reader.
Due to failure, Proust abandoned his first novel, Jean-Santeuil, which was eventually published only in 1952. And the first part of the cycle “In Search of Lost Time”, a recognized masterpiece, was “unrolled” in the publishing house and called “a waste of the reader’s time.” So Proust published Swann’s way at his own expense.
What is writing productivity like?
Is it possible to write a lot and always well? Or is it worth surrendering completely to the work, which will become not only the key in your career, but also in life? What are the good and dangerous of the various options, let’s look at examples.
Author of one book
Margaret Mitchell has written only one book in her entire life. But what! For her, she received the Pulitzer Prize and gained worldwide fame. Today Gone With the Wind is one of the most published works in the world. Harper Lee also did not leave a large body of works: To Kill a Mockingbird was for a long time the only published novel by the writer, which also brought the author of Pulitzer. In 2015, the second was published – “Go, set a watchman.” These two books and a few more stories make up the humble legacy of a truly great writer.
Training for a new occupation
Francis Scott Fitzgerald first had a profession closer to literature – he was a copywriter for an advertising agency. But my career didn’t work out. About that time, he said: “In myself, I resigned from the agency, left New York and in his parents’ house was engaged in reworking a novel he wrote during the war. This is how the wonderful work “This Side of Paradise” was born. was a failure: mediocrity in advertising, which could not break out into the world of writers.” He The writer did not get rich right away, but he became famous almost overnight.
Everyone’s favorite adventurer Alice Lewis Carroll has lectured in mathematics for 26 years. He did not like this occupation at all, but it gave him financial stability. But Umberto Eco was, on the contrary, very supportive of his scientific work. First of all, he was a scientist-medievalist and semiologist, which is very noticeable in his novels, which he began to write only closer to 50 years. Eco never gave up science, considered himself primarily a scientist and taught at the university until his death.
How to become a writer who will be favored by the readership?
The main thing is to accurately define your goal and go towards it, no matter what. That very opportune moment may not happen, but time goes by. Almost everyone whom we consider to be classics today also faced difficulties, but they did not prevent them from finding a way out. And we wish you not to give up, arm yourself with the experience of your predecessors and contemporaries and find your own unique path in literature!