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if at first i don't succeed....

The blogs are talking success this morning, which suits me just fine. Sandra Scoppettone did a reading that sucked, and she sounds pretty unhappy about it. Said they only sold three books. Hm. Sandra Scoppettone is the author of nineteen novels. I haven't read any of them, though I'll definitely read at least one because I enjoy the blog so much. If she's anything like other writers, she's probably written a couple more that didn't quite measure up for whatever reason. According to my yard-stick, getting nineteen books into bookstores is a wildly-successful career. So what if some of them didn't fare as well as others? So what if a few didn't fare at all ... to have a publishing record include nineteen novels is something I'd be thrilled to accomplish. She calls herself a c-list author, which sounds disappointing. Note: she doesn't sound particularly disappointed, I found that interesting in and of itself. The author of nineteen mediocre books ... does that sound as successful as it did before? Hm. Not quite. If you had to trade -- right now, knee-jerk reaction -- one or two a-list books or nineteen b-/c+list books? My knee doesn't jerk. I guess I'm not evaluating success in terms of volume. What then? Miss Snark writes about Lee Child today -- the poster-child for success. The other big winner, I think, is Elizabeth George. It just so happens that these two sell tons of books and have enjoyed great commercial success. Miss Snark really does say it all, "Lee Child is a very very good writer." Bam. That's what gets my butt out of bed in the morning. It's the great big sugarplum that dances in my head. It's not about numbers, or wide audiences, or fame or whatever (I'm not sure I'd be any more enthusiastic than Scoppettone is for the process of promoting a book), it's about getting it right. I may fail. I know.

I wasn't unhappy about the reading or even the selling of only 3 books. My point is what's the point? And by C list I didn't mean that my books are mediocre. I actually think I'm good. Not great, but good, which isn't easy to be. C-list for me was a way of grading myself in terms of how many would come to hear me read and buy books. I guess you have to know my sense of humor to understand. And BTW, I don't have any other books in a drawer. Once I sold my first book I sold every one I wrote after that. I never thought of it as being wildly-successful but maybe you're right. I'll try to look at it that way from now on. Thanks,

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