Why Do So Many Books Fail?

By on January 19, 2017
Why Do So Many Books Fail? - Writer's Life.org

The majority of books that are written are hardly read by anybody. This may seem a little depressing, but it is the unfortunate truth. Think of all the millions of books that are out there. How many of them have been properly published and marketed, and have been read by more than a handful of people?

Of course, describing a book as a failure all depends on how you measure success. You may not write for fame and fortune; you may not even be trying to make a living out of your book. For some authors seeing their book for sale on Amazon is achievement enough - and that is wonderful.

However, for many authors, they want to see their book become a success, they want a publisher or agent, or at the very least for it to become popular through self-publishing - so that they can feel dedicating all that time and energy to writing it was worthwhile.

So why is it that so many books fail? Let’s take a look at the main reasons.

They Don’t Get Finished

Finishing a book is an astonishing achievement and one that every author who has managed it should pat themselves on the back for. So many people begin to write a book or want to, but never manage to get to the end. Be thankful that you did something so many other people were unable to do.

They Stay Hidden

There are a vast number of manuscripts out there which stay under the radar. The author finishes and thinks ‘now what?’ The idea of spending time and money sending to publishers and agents, or self-publishing is rather overwhelming to the novice writer, so even many completed books go no further.

They Don’t Get Sent To The Right People.

If you don’t research the publishers you are sending your book to,  more often than not you’ll send it to the wrong person. Someone who has no interest in the genre for example, and it will get rejected without so much as a second thought. Always do your research and make sure that you know exactly the right person and publishing house to send your manuscript to. This way you'll give your book the best chance of success.

They Aren’t Submitted Correctly

If you don’t follow submission guidelines to a T, then your book may get rejected without even being read. Don’t go to all the effort of sending your book in unless you are going to make sure you have read the submission guidelines and are willing to follow them precisely.

They Haven’t Been Written FOR Anyone

Does your book have a target audience? If not who are you going to market it to? Without having a type of reader in mind books often fail as, instead of appealing to everyone, they don’t really appeal to anyone.

They Aren’t Unique

Boring, unoriginal cliched stories have no place in the modern book market. Readers are hungry for books that surprise and excite them. Make sure your story does just that.

They Aren’t Up To A Publishable Standard
If your book is full of spelling mistakes and errors then you can’t expect to be taken seriously by an agent or publisher. Have a professional editor look over your book, and if you are self-publishing, make sure you have a proper cover design.

They’re Just Plain Unlucky

Unfortunately, if you are going to try and get your book published, you are up against insanely tough competition. Lots of publishers won’t give new authors the time of day, and if they do will only take on 2 or 3 new books in a year (and get sent thousands of manuscripts each month). Even brilliant authors with something truly unique to say can easily get overlooked.

In the end all you can do is keep trying, believe in yourself and hope that you’ll get lucky. Remember, don’t give up - it’s often those who keep persevering that end up becoming a success.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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