Sunday, March 25, 2012

March Theme: How much luck is involved in getting published?

By Lucy Jones

A lot of people often say ‘She’s so lucky’ when they hear I’m having a book published.

And (after hearing a chorus of Brittany Spears echo through my head) I actually sometimes stop and think about what this means. Was it luck that got me published?

Sure, I think so. I often tell other writers who are wondering why it hasn’t happened yet for them that, “I just got lucky.” I think getting published is a mixture of luck, perseverance and talent, but you need all three of them to make it work.

And I totally believe that. As any serious writer will already know, getting published is NOT for the faint hearted. I received multiple rejection letters before I got my ‘lucky break’. I’m pretty sure I shed quite a few tears as well. I could have given up then, but I didn’t, I stuck at it. I think with this attitude, any writer with a good amount of talent and a brilliant story to tell, will eventually find their lucky break too.

And this is where I believe that ‘luck’ plays its part. Firstly, you have to give your manuscript a fighting chance. Keeping it locked inside a drawer where nobody can see it, will not do you any favours. Bite the bullet and send it out into the world, and get out there yourself too! Meet the people that matter and build contacts. Actually, I met my agent at a SCBWI event in London. I took the train from Devon specifically to attend, and yes, in a way it was ‘luck’ that she was there at that particular event, and ‘luck’ that we got chatting, and ‘luck’ that she asked to see what I was working on, and for those reasons I will always be eternally grateful, but none of this would have happened if I’d just stayed at home.

What I’m saying is that even though I believe luck plays a huge part in an author’s journey to publication, I don’t believe it is the only part. In order to get lucky, you have to first create those opportunities for yourself in which to attract it.

And with that in mind, here are a few of my favourite author quotes on... you guessed it, luck!

“For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.”
Ernest Hemingway

“It's hard to detect good luck - it looks so much like something you've earned.”
Frank Howard Clark

“Luck affects everything. Let your hook always be cast; in the stream where you least expect it there will be a fish.”
Ovid

5 comments:

  1. Love this post, Lucy! I couldn't agree with you more.

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  2. During my ninth revision, it sure didn't feel so lucky. :)

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  3. Aww thanks Lisa :) And Steph, yep I know the feeling! lol

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  4. I got over 40 rejections prior to getting my publishing contract - and that was just for that manuscript!

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