A few years ago, I was talking to an author friend who wrote a novel in the 1990s that his agent — who was one of the biggest agents in the game — thought was a “million dollar book.”
She was extremely excited and she took the book out to auction, convinced it was going to make her author rich and famous and push his career into the stratosphere.
(This would hardly be the first time she had done this for one of her clients. She really understood the market well.)
She picked the five biggest editors to start with — the type of editors who didn’t even have to get approval to buy a book because they had their own imprints and a lot of power — and she gave them each a few days to read and prepare their offers for the auction.
Six months later, every editor in New York had passed.
Here was a great author with an established career, and here was an agent who was one of the best in the business because she always found “big books,” and she couldn’t sell this truly terrific novel.
The moral of the story: whether you’re trying to sell your work to a traditional publisher or you’re going the self-publishing route, the odds of being the next “million dollar author” are extremely slim. That’s why you simply sit down and write the next book and keep plugging away.
Also, it’s why you don’t buy that McMansion until the check clears.