It’s tempting to think that if you just write the perfect book, if you just write the right query, find the right agent and the right publisher, if they just give you the right marketing push, if you just do the right bloggy/Facebooky/Twittery activities, if you get the right reviews…. you totally have it made in the shade.
In other words, it’s tempting to think you have control.
And you do have control! Some.
You can write the best book you can. But worse books than yours will go on to be successful.
You can do the best promotion you can. But books that were promoted less than yours will go on to be successful.
You can be courteous and professional to everyone. But people who aren’t as nice as you will go on to be successful.
At the end of the day, there’s a powerful, important force that you can’t control that will determine how successful your book will be. And that’s the Fate Factor.
Christopher Paolini self-published Eragon, he struggled to tour around selling handfuls of copies, until novelist Carl Hiassen’s stepson happened to buy it and like it. Hiassen passed it on to Knopf, and the rest, of course, is history.
There are lots and lots of stories like this of books with the most modest of beginnings that hit the right note at the right time, get the right boost at the right time, and take on a life of their own.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all try and do everything we can. I truly believe that it pays to give yourself every boost you can. Opportunity can’t knock if it can’t find your door. All that work you put into your book, all that work you put into marketing… it does matter. It does.
It’s just that when it’s all said and done, the book is going to do what it does. It’s going to sell what it sells. And that’s alright.
All you can do is try your best and hope the Fate Factor does the rest.