Publishing–How much is luck?

Being that it’s March, this month’s topic has to do with publishing and luck. Or in other words, how much luck to you need to get published?

I’ve never considered myself an overly lucky person, quite the opposite in fact. I often tell people, if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.

It’s true I’ve been published–but luck had nothing to do with it. Obsessive persistence? Yeah, that sounds about right. It seems like you’ll hear all over the internet about the overnight success stories–the people who got and agent in a week and a publishing contract shortly after that. I am not one of those people. Here are my numbers:

It took me two books, two years, and over two hundred rejections until I signed with my first agent.

Yeah. You read that right.

From there it took three months of revisions, five acquisition meetings, a dozen rejections, and a year on submission until I landed my first book deal. It would then take another two years before my book would sit on a store shelf.

Now I’m what you would call a midlist author. I’m not a NY Times bestseller, my book didn’t make any lists or win any awards. But more importantly, my sales have been good and the major reviewers have been kind. KATANA sold out of its first print run and did well enough for my publisher to offer me a third book contract.

Would I call that a success? You bet your buttons! Would I call it luck? Only if you consider luck to be a combination of tears, blood, sweat, and alcohol.

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About colegibsen

When Cole Gibsen isn't writing books for young adults, she can be found rocking out with her band, sewing crazy costumes for the fun of it, picking off her nail polish, or drinking milk straight from the jug -- provided no one is looking. She is the author of the young adult KATANA series (Flux) of which the sequel, SENSHI, will release March 8th, 2013 in a bookstore near you.

8 thoughts on “Publishing–How much is luck?

  1. You are incredible, Cole, and I witnessed it firsthand. There are quite a few of us, limping scarred, pockmarked survivors on here, who just kept dragging themselves along–a little like the Walking Dead. Yet, look at us now! You rock, Cole!

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