Now here’s one author’s story that fully demonstrates that philosophy.
Author Angela Davis-Gardner had published two books over a nine year period. Once she had the third ready, times had changed and, as she said, she “wore out three agents” and no one wanted her new literary book. Davis-Gardner gave up and even began to throw away various versions of the book.
Then, a funny thing happened. A librarian found a piece of the manuscript on a plane, loved it and wrote to Davis-Gardner. That encouragement inspired her to try again. The acquisitions editor she sent it to sent it to two writers to read. One of those writers loved it. The editor told Davis-Gardner she’d have to cut the book by a fourth and the editor ended up publishing 1,000 copies of Plum Wine.
But that’s not the end of the story. Davis-Gardner’s friend, bookstore owner Nancy Olson championed the book to all her customers. She called an agent she knew and told her about the book. She wrote to other independent bookstore owners and encouraged them to read the book. Plum Wine began to sell. The agent put it up for auction. Big stores began to buy the book. It’s “gone through seven printings and sold 57,000 copies.”
Know what Davis-Gardner’s friend, Nancy Olson, owner of Quail Ridge Books said?
"That's the problem with the industry," Olson says. "These days you need to know someone to get a book published."
She points out that Barbara Taylor Bradford just received a $20 million contract for three novels. As thrilled as Olson is with Davis-Gardner's success, her excitement is tempered by Bradford's $20 million contract.
"How many good writers," she wonders, "went unpublished to support that one contract?"