Friday, August 22, 2008

Making the rounds

I'm getting ready to send Veronica out for another round of potential assignations.

For those few of you who do not know, Veronica is my novel—Lifting Up Veronica. I have been sending the manuscript off, from time to time, since June 2007, trying to find a publisher who will recognize it as the work of genius that it is.

I have hopes, of course; if I didn’t I wouldn’t be wasting the postage, which is starting to mount up. But if I were gambling, at a casino or with a lottery ticket, what I am attempting would be considered a long shot.

According to Harper’s Index, more than 1.4 million different titles were offered for sale in the United States last year; and Bowker, a leading source for bibliographic information, just over fifty thousand of those books were novels.

Average sales for a novel are 500 copies, but that is because seventy-eight percent, a few books shy of thirty-nine thousand, sold fewer than one hundred copies and twenty-two percent sold between one hundred and one hundred thousand copies.

Five novels—.0001 percent of the total—sold over a million copies. Is it any wonder that publishers dream about finding an author who can generate that level of sales, and will move heaven and earth of make certain that their next book is just as popular.

There is a better chance of winning a multi-million-dollar lottery than earning a substantial amount of money through sale of a novel. But then, buying a lottery ticket is a lot less work and a lottery ticket doesn’t cause anywhere near the heartache, stuck away in a drawer.