There are times when I just want to sit and mull and check my navel for lint and this is one of those times. I really, really want to say something important about this fabulous journey called life, but that's not usually very interesting to anyone but me. So with that said, let me fish around inside this cluttered mind and find a subject with more meat and less lint.
Has anyone told you that why publishers are so damned picky? Well not all publishers, just those who have loads to lose by making too many bad choices. You see, we don't really know what books will sell and which ones will just sit there and not do anything. Of course, authors who have names have enough of a following to entice publishers to invest in their next book. But those who don't have a name, what happens to their books? They usually are not published, at least not in the more traditional sense, but that's the subject for another post.
When I say name, I don't mean plain old names like Smith or Jones, I mean recognizable first names attached to last names like Sandra Brown, for instance. Jim Jones did kind of well in his day; however, not many out there remember him.
There also might be those who don't know who Sandra Brown is or those who know her writing but don't care for it. However, I'd imagine Sandra does well enough on name alone that she can pretty much guarantee enough sales to overcome just about any publisher's risk. This is a nice position to be in; for her and her publisher.
All this is nice and cozy but what about the rest of us? What can we do to overcome the lack of name recognition, enough to make risk negligible? As Ross Perot used to say, knowing this is where the rubber meets the road. This is that space where most knowledge resides; that fraction of an inch between a tire and the road's surface. If you can grasp that, you're on your way.
If we all knew what it took to get our book to take off instead of just sitting there occupying valuable shelf space, we'd all be rich and what fun would that be?
We've come this far with no answers and isn't that weird. But I kept you reading, didn't I? So you've learned something today. Mystery, tension, not knowing but wanting to know, that's what makes for fine adventure and is the reason readers read.