Let me start with a massive disclaimer: I have never had a book go to "auction" with agents or publishers. But that's okay, because I'm not here to talk about what it's like behind the scenes. I'm here to talk about what it looks like on the outside, as someone peering in, gazing longingly from the sidelines.
Recently, I've seen a few Facebook posts, blogs, and tweets about books that have gone to auction, where agents and/or editors have fought to a bloody death to get their hands on said book. Or a situation where a book is snatched up within days of querying. And it's exciting, right? Of course it is. For those who are directly involved in it. But for everyone else? Not so much. In fact, these success stories are harmful, and in my opinion do more harm than good. Personally, I really dislike reading stories like this.
Now, before you go lighting your pitchforks and calling me "jealous" or "bitter" or whatever else you want to call me, allow me to explain...
I'm always one of the first people in line to shout cheers of congratulations when someone lands an agent or gets a book deal. I know how hard it is to get there, and so it absolutely deserves a celebration when an author achieves their dreams. I'm not denying anyone their successes. But here's the thing....
When an author -- whether brand new or seasoned -- reads these awesome stories about a book that was offered representation by 19 different agents, or was offered representation within hours of querying and then the book is snatched up by an editor within a few more days, it sends the wrong message. It makes authors think it's the norm. Why? Because these types of success stories are the ones that go viral. Which is sad, because these types of stories are the exception NOT the norm. And so authors sit back and think, "My book isn't going to auction or selling that fast. Something must be wrong! I suck. I give up!"
Well, I'm here to tell you, YOU'RE WRONG!!
It's absolutely normal for a book not to sell fast, to wrack up rejection after rejection after rejection. And you know what?
That's right. IT IS OKAY! You're not a lessor author or your book isn't bad just because it doesn't sell fast or get into an auction. So many authors wrote numerous books, wracked up dozens if not hundreds of rejections before finally landing an agent or getting a book deal. Unfortunately, those stories, the ones of numerous setbacks and rejections and perseverance... THOSE stories don't get shared often enough. And they should! I mean, why not? Why not celebrate all the times people told us "no" only to then come out on top where we want to be?
So, this post is dedicated to all of you! Share your stories in the comments. Don't be afraid to tell us how many rejections you got or how many years it took to get where you are now! Wear your success (and your "failures") like a badge of honor. Own it. Flaunt it. Be proud of it!