As a three-time published author and creative writing teacher I get asked a lot: “What is the secret to getting your book published?” Many of the interrogators are disappointed, some even disbelieving, when I tell them there is no secret. Getting published is about three key elements and none of them are a secret but all three play an important role. Book publishing requires a combination of luck, timing, and talent.
I know too much about the publishing game (and it is a game as much as it is a business) to discount the importance of luck when it comes to getting your book published. I have watched a lot of authors come and go. I have watched a lot of would-be authors do everything right to exploit their talent and then fade away into oblivion. I have watched a select few authors make mistakes and still come out with successful careers. While luck isn’t everything and should certainly not be a key part of your publishing and writing strategy, you need to allow for an element of luck — whether it is bad or good.