As the story goes, an author hawked a manuscript to about 100 literary agents and was rejected by each one. Here’s the entire piece.
The author, Darcie Chan, finally landed agent Laurie Liss, of Sterling Lord Literistics, formally of the Harvey Klinger Agency. For those who don’t know, Laurie Liss, is somewhat infamous for finding bestsellers. Other big books she’s found have an almost urban legend feeling, and I don’t need to repeat them here. Allegedly, Ms. Liss shopped Ms. Chan’s book and no publishers were interested.
Evidently, Laurie Liss was right about Ms. Chan and the publishers missed out once again. According this this article, after the book was self-pubbed, to this date, Ms. Chan’s book has sold over 413,000copies.
It makes you wonder what over 100 literary agents missed in Ms. Chan’s manuscript that Ms. Liss spotted. It makes you wonder even more why Ms. Liss couldn’t find a home for this manuscript and the author had to shelve it for five years and then self-publish it. I applaud Ms. Chan for this. It shows she’s tenacious and determined to be an author. And she didn’t let over 100 wrong opinions get to her.
But, aside from this self-publishing success story, regardless of how much we keep hearing about them, I thought this was an interesting comment in the article itself:
Digital self-publishing still has serious drawbacks. Though e-books are the fastest-growing segment of the book market, they still make up less than 10% of overall trade book sales, according to the Association of American Publishers. Book reviewers tend to ignore self-published works, and brick-and-mortar bookstores have long shunned them. And very few authors have a marketing and advertising budget equal to a publisher’s.
I’m not making any comments on this statement. I’m just going to save this link and refer back to it a year or two from now to see what the percentage of digital books is that makes up the overall book market. Three years ago, e-books were less than 1% of the market. I’d say almost 10% is quite a jump (if this is accurate…I think it’s higher) in such a short amount of time. I had an employee in my art gallery about ten years ago who wasn’t into reading. I turned her on to Nicholas Sparks and she couldn’t get enough. I just read on facebook my former employee is now reading all her books on a kindle fire and loving every minute of it.