Another view on the Publishing World, From the Vantage of the Author

February 8, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

I was looking around on today, in search of an article a friend told me about last night. While I didn’t find that article, (I’ll keep looking), I did find an interesting piece called “The Confession of a Semi-Successful Author” which seemed worth checking out. It is. It’s all about what it means to be mid-list, which is defined straight off the bat by David Armstrong as “[an] author…whose books are well received but have failed to make a commercial breakthrough; whose work sells solidly but unspectacularly, who’s well known within the writing community but the majority of book buyers have never heard his name.”

I think such conversations are interesting because they raise questions in my own head about what I’m trying to accomplish, what the end goal is as an emerging writer.

I can’t escape the hope of accomplishing Great Things (a white whale of its own that, at the very least, provides a sometimes-anxious inspiration). And yet, at the same time, the bar is quite high. It would be a feat in and of itself to be published at all, let alone to be publish multiple times, and further to actually sell things.What’s interesting about this article is how it points to the measure of success via monetary achievement. If one is mid-shelf, grade B, it has less to do with the content of the work and more to do with sales.

So. Check out the article. I think it’s interesting, and at least got my brain moving around a little bit.




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