At the many writers conferences that I've attended and presented, aspiring authors always want to discover the keys to publishing success. The answers are always varied, but typically include never stop writing, never stop reading, never stop studying the craft, and never stop networking. Simply put, never stop.
Persistence is often the key that matters most.While there are a few overnight successes, most authors don't find success until after years and years of hard work. I first started writing about 22 years ago. It took me 10 years and the writing of a few novels and a dozen or so picture books before I received my first publishing contract, which was for the picture book, Brave Little Monster. I considered that a great success and hoped it would lead to many more book contracts. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. It took a little over 10 more years and a lot more hard work to get my next contract, which is for the picture book Old MacDonald had a Dragon (Coming Fall 2012).
I plan on having many more books published. I don't know how long it will take for my next success, but I do know it'll never happen if I stop trying before I get there. So in the words of Churchill, the key to publishing success is "never, never, never give up."