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7 Startling Book Publishing Facts

Well, yes, it’s true, I have already been published  (11 Y/A novels and an illustrated children’s book)  but now I’ve  written a book for a new market – adult fiction – so  I have to find a new publisher. It’s like starting from scratch. To begin this journey I’ve been reading through an informative book called The Complete Guide to Hiring a Literary Agent (by Laura Cross) and  discovered the following interesting facts.  (The book has an American focus but still!)

  • Approximately 80% of all published books fail to earn back the advance given to the authors.
  • 85% of new titles published each year are nonfiction.
  • First-time authors write 75% of the new nonfiction books published each year.
  • According to the Author’s Guild, a successful fiction book sells 5,000 copies and a successful nonfiction book sells 7,500 copies.
  • Research indicates that 85% of self-published books sell fewer than 200 copies.
  • Authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor received 144 rejections before obtaining an agent and a publishing deal, and their book, Chicken Soup for the Soul, went on to become a New York Times bestseller.
  • Small to mid-size agencies receive an average of 10,000 query letters each year with a rejection rate of 99%. (!!!)

Whoa! That last fact is particularly alarming but I intend to be in that 1% who finds representation.

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I know I can.” (Thank you Little Engine.)