Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Key to Publishing Success: Persistence

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."


  1. Congratulations on your new book! Tell us how this experience has been different (so far) than the first. Has the market changed significantly? Eager to read about your thoughts.

  2. As far as market changes go, it gets more competitive each year. Not only do the number of submissions to publishers continue to grow, but publishers focus even more on the "marketability" of a story in addition to the quality of a story. With the shrinking economy they have to look closely at how a book can contribute to their bottom-line profits.

    That play into another major change, which is the near-necessity for authors to have an online social presence in order to better promote their books and themselves.