The Myth of the Overnight Success and What Those Stories Have in Common

Straight talking from Literary Agent Carly Watters 😀

Carly Watters, Literary Agent

Publishing has become a sensationalized industry. Journalists love to write about the death of the business, while those of us in it know it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that’s doing just fine, thanks.

Big stories consume the media cycle: the million dollar advance!the 18-year-old who secures a big publishing deal! and lastly, the overnight success! 

The overnight success is something that sounds great in theory, but deep down writers know it’s a publishing unicorn.

Things like honing your craft, writing a novel over the course of many years, and having a quiet publishing story are the backbone of this business. It’s hard for publishing to get out front of stories because there are so few that blow up and the majority of books are average sellers.

Thinking about Mark Zuckerberg’s book club has most recently perpetuated this myth. Some call it the second coming of the Oprah book club…

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6 thoughts on “The Myth of the Overnight Success and What Those Stories Have in Common

  1. There is a lot of truth in this post. I once went to a session on getting published and making money. Each of the people on the panel were overnight wonders with huge book and movie deals. They related to me like a hare to a tortoise. And made me feel bad to boot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am writing this from my Docklands penthouse overlooking the river Thames as my trusty butler fills up my champagne glass yet again. All of this is, of course paid for by my novel, “Making It Big” which I wrote, over a weekend while sitting on a bar stool! Coming back down to earth, many self-publishing companies do, unfortunately perpetuate the myth of overnight success. I get regular emails from an organisation (which shall remain nameless) attempting to persuade me to shell out hard earned cash for what, they hint is almost guaranteed success. It is about hard slog. That is the truth of it. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person


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