I hear the same question over and over again. “What is the secret to having a book published?” Most people walk away in disbelief when I tell them no secret exists. If you can meet three conditions, I tell them, you have a chance to get published. None of the three requirements are secrets however. Getting your book published is simply the right combination of luck, talent and timing.
The more you learn about the publishing business the more you will believe (like I do) that luck plays a big part in getting your book published. We have all seen too many good authors give up on their dreams. Many a would be published author has done everything correctly to get published but soon disappear from view. On the other hand a few authors it seems have a publishing deal fall into their laps in spite of doing everything wrong. I’m not saying luck is the only thing that determines whether or not you get published but you should be prepared to take advantage of good luck and deal with bad luck as well.
Timing is a key component to becoming a published author and is almost equal to having extraordinary writing skills. Your book idea may be an amazing offering and you may display incredible writing talent but if your potential publishing house has just accepted too similar of an idea your timing will cost you the deal. Another example of poor timing would be that you have a great book for the publishing company but they have suspended buys temporarily and your book just sits on the shelf for a long time or is rejected outright. There is a big difference between luck and timing. You have a much better chance to control your timing than to control your luck. The key to this is to have the right information. If you have done enough research on your market you should be better equipped to choose the best time to present your book idea. An acquaintance of mine made her very first book sale by meticulously researching her target market and made the pitch with the perfect idea at the perfect time.
Obviously talent is very important to having your work published and becoming successful. It’s a given you must possess writing talent and a creative flair to magically pull plot and characters out of thin air and provide a story the reader can’t put down. Talent is important but without good luck and proper timing your talent will be wasted because no one will read your story. I want to believe that all talented writers will one day find a publisher at the right time but many are unable to stick it out until good fortune shines on them.
With all this being said it’s important to remember it is not impossible to become a published author. Every year there is a group on new writers who publish their first literary work. It is far from easy to reach this goal but with just the right combination of luck, timing and talent you can get your book published. Obviously none of us can control our luck but we do have the power to manipulate our timing and work on improving our talents. Work everyday on collecting related market information and publishing trends as well as your writing. When everything is just right you will succeed now that you know how to get published.