Finding a Publisher or an Agent: learn the probability of success by watching
Discovery Channel had a
program about evolution. Featured in the high drama stakes of survival were baby
turtles, freshly hatched, and making the run over open beach to the sea. On the
charge to the sea, turtles were gorged on by birds. Others met their fate by
being devoured by crabs. The crab grabbed hold and pulled a baby turtle, tiny
legs flapping, down a hole in the sand. Those turtles fortunate enough to make
it to the sea found little safety. Only a few out of the hundreds and hundreds
that started the race survived.
When surfing the blogs and websites of
authors, it is difficult not to feel publishing is not unlike the world of the
baby turtles. You can sense the level of anxiety, anger and frustration. Knowing
one’s their probable fate, doesn’t stop one from trying. Some turtles, after
all, do make it, right?
The publishing equivalent of being eaten is
being rejected. Failure to get published is the equivalent of being stopped
before the water’s edge; the beach is littered with the remains of dead
manuscripts. Most of those few authors who are given the chance to swim later
disappear without a trace. It is difficult to believe the forces of evolutionary
nature act in such a brutal, ruthless, and final fashion. But what is true for
the baby turtle is true for the fate of most writers.
My favorite baby
turtle was the one who turned away from the race to the sea and headed to the
jungle. He was alone. If he was going to survive, he would have to adapt to a
new environment. Otherwise, he, too, would disappear without a trace.