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We have all heard the stories of publishing “miracles,” such as the struggling English teacher who fished his first short story out of the trash, turned it into a novel in two weeks, and ended up becoming one of the best-selling authors of all time. Or the teacher living on welfare whose book got published because the head of a publishing house gave the first chapter to his daughter to read, resulting in one of the most successful franchises in the world. Or the stay-at-home mom of three active children who wrote at night and just happened to have her manuscript picked up from a slush pile, turning her into a wildly successful Young Adult writer.
Hearing these stories of success can make getting published appear to be easy—a happenstance where the right manuscript, in the hands of the right publisher, means anyone can become a best-selling phenomenon. But, sadly, that’s not the case. With the advent of the convenience offered by the internet, today’s new writers face unprecedented competition in the writing market. In addition, the publishing market is in a constant state of flux, susceptible to corporate take-overs or consolidations, making publishers even more wary about taking on new authors. Further, a plethora of options for publication make navigating the increasingly complex publishing industry harder than ever. Were those three best-selling writers just lucky?
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