I believe publishing is a combination of three things—luck, persistence, and timing.
Every writer knows that the publishing business is filled with rejection. We all need to develop a thick skin and keep going, no matter how much the rejection hurts. This is where the persistence comes in.
Every writer knows that trends come and go. What was selling like crazy five years ago won’t sell now. What is selling now won’t sell in five years. This is where the timing comes in.
Every writer knows that this business is subjective. One day, the rejection says, “Your characters are flat.” The next rejection says, “Your characters are great but the pacing is too slow.” Then you hear, “The pacing is too fast.” But, happily, one day, you send your manuscript to the editor or agent who finds everything to be in the right place at the right time, and you get an offer. This is where the luck comes in.
I entered my query letter in a query contest on the blog belonging to Kate Kaynak, the editor at Spencer Hill Press, in October 2011. She read the query and suggested I query Spencer Hill when they opened to queries in December 2011. I sent in my query and got a request for the full manuscript, then an offer of publication the following February! I believe all three things came into play here—luck, for entering the contest out of the blue, persistence, for continuing to enter contests and submit queries after previous rejections, and timing, for writing about a unique topic that caught the interest of an editor.
So what do you think?