International Thriller Writers, and every month I received an online newsletter that lists, among other things, forthcoming new releases by members. Whether they are by well-known authors such as Lee Child or debut novels by relative unknowns, still each title on that list represents competition for the attention (and the dollars) of potential readers.
In the past month's newsletter, I counted forty new hardcover titles and fifteen e-books that will be launched in July. If my simplified math is correct, the one or two books of mine released in a calendar year have to compete with over five hundred books of a similar genre. And that's just ITW authors.
I recently found some notes from a Christian writer's conference I attended about five years ago. Like all the others in the mentoring class I attended, I had never had a word of Christian fiction published. And when I heard that only a small percentage of the attendees at the conference would ever achieve that status, my heart sank. What chance did I have?
Some of you know my story. My work was turned down more times than a Holiday Inn bedspread. I wrote four books over four years and garnered forty rejections. Nevertheless, through a set of circumstances that can only be called a "God thing," I got representation by a new agent, received my first contract, and now have four novels of medical suspense in print with a contract for three more.
What chance did I have? Not much. But if I quit, I had no chance. So I didn't quit (although God sort of had to drag me back into writing). How about you? Are you about to give up? Maybe you should think about it again. Want to share?