Writers: Don’t worry about the Statistics

I came across this article that really hit home.

Why statistics discourage prospective writers

We all hear the statistics.  1 in 500… 1 in 5000… 100,000 novels are being queried right now.  They are all scary.  Many people are daunted by this.

This article points out something that I hadn’t thought of.  Think it over.  All of us have at least one friend who is querying thinking there novel is great, and they are getting rejected.  I talked to someone the other day doing this and the only other person whose read her novel is HER HUSBAND.  Really?  What are you thinking?

Now, if all of you count up their one or two friends who refuse to get beta readers, and are SURE they are geniuses without getting a lick of feedback… are you counting them up? Are you getting a mental picture?  Get my meaning?

This is what I am getting at.  So what if you and 499 other people query at the same time.  If 300 of these are sub-standard, your chances just increased, didn’t they?

If 50 of the remaining 100 had bad queries, or boring plots, your chances just increased, didn’t they?

What you have to ask is this… Are you destined for the slush pile, or are you one of then ten that the agent or publisher is actually going to read?

Make your choice now, and work hard to get yourself out of the slush pile, and onto that agent’s desk.

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10 responses to “Writers: Don’t worry about the Statistics

  1. This gave me the kick I needed to get going this morning. Thanks.

  2. That’s so true…I’m currently querying but when I send of my letters I feel like I’ve done my best. I know my MS is good, it might not be perfect but it’s good and has been read by “my team” of betas etc…I also know I’ve researched the agent, agency and am not just querying them just cause. It makes me feel better when rejections come because I am more likely to believe them when they say it’s just not for them or whatever.

  3. Thank God for Beta readers is all I can say 🙂

  4. You make a great point. Feedback is SOO important! And your friends and family are generally not in a position to give it well unless they happen to be writers too. Then there are all the people who end up in the slush pile because they didn’t follow submission guidelines. The statistics are daunting, but there are things you can do to improve your chances.

    Great blog!

  5. The statistics aren’t something I’ve thought much about. My lament is there are soooooo many gosh darn awesome writers out there.

  6. Statistics paralyzed me for many years. I still haven’t queried my novel because I don’t think it’s good enough to get past the slush pile. I think my stories are getting to the point where they might get past the slush, though I’m not sure my ideas are really novel (new) and interesting enough.
    I don’t want to send anything out until I’m sure it’s fantastic. So I don’t send anything out, except as a sort of personal dare and I really don’t expect it to get published.

  7. I’m a big believer in the slush pile. I know a handful of writers who’s queries have opened doors. If you have a great query and a great story, the slush pile works! And you’re right, there are a great many things a writer can do that will significantly increase their chances of standing out from the crowd.