In this writing business there are thousands, maybe even millions of people who can tell you whether your work will succeed or fail in the marketplace.  This presents us with two questions,

1. Are they right?
2. Should you care?

Let’s deal with the first question where the answer is “It depends”.  There are purveyors of your work’s style, readablity and interest level.  There are predictors of your book’s marketability and there are thousands, in fact, hundreds of thousands of statistics that portend things to come for your work.  For the most part, a first time author will not find these prophecies appealing.  In fact many published authors get little comfort from this predictive process.

This brings us to the second question, “Should you care” where the same answer applies, “It depends”.  I believe we need some form of positive re-enforcement to keep us going.  Authoring, publishing and getting your book read requires a lot of effort. If I were to rank them I would say, getting your worked published is by far the easiest but most time consuming task with convincing someone to actually read your initial work being the REALLY hard part.   If we don’t have someone encouraging us to keep going throughout this process then it’s very likely to grind to a halt.

With that said, let me offer all of you these words of encouragement.  Don’t write for the prophets or the profits, write for yourself.
Whether you are telling a story, informing, or teaching make it yours.  Listen to your coaches, editors, peers, agents and publishers but don’t obey them.  If YOU believe in the approach you are taking, take it.   A lot of people can tell you what has worked and not worked in the past for other authors, but the past is not necessarily a predictor of the future and what worked for someone else, doesn’t make it right for you.

In just the last 10 years, Self Publishing has become the number one book producer in the U.S.

Less than 50% of all books sold are sold in brick and mortar book stores. 

Online book retailing is not yet number one, but that could change tomorrow. 

There are only 7 major book publishers in the U.S. and while they may outsell all other publishers combined,  they reject over 99% of all submissions.

I have detailed elsewhere in this blog, my decision to go digital, even though it’s less than 5% of the current market.  In just under 3 months, my 3d e-book has been downloaded over 13,000 times.
I have also opted to keep my intellectual property rights and profits by using POD publisher Dog Ear even though the average self published book sells fewer than 150 copies.  MY paperback comes out in February.  Since I’m already profitable I’m not at all concerned about this number. But if I have yet to tap into 95% of the market then things could get really interesting. 

Of course it all depends.