The One Where No One Will Read Your Book (And Other Truths About Publishing)

After I completed my first novel, I had dreams of a beautiful black book, its ivory pages sewn into the binding, the title embossed in gold leaf, a single red ribbon denoting the place where a reader might pause in their reading, adrift in another world.

Perhaps, if I was lucky enough, more than a few readers would love it. Perhaps, in my wildest dreams, Reese Witherspoon would even recommend it to her book club. Perhaps it would go on to become a New York Times bestseller and Hello Sunshine would adapt it into a series for HBO. Perhaps I could spend my life as an author, writing books from the far corners of the world.

Yes, perhaps. The unicorns of the publishing industry—Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Paulo Coelho—allow us to dream that maybe, just maybe, our books will make it too. If we just write well enough and persist long enough, by some miracle our books will make it onto Oprah’s nightstand and our dreams of being an author will be realized.

Alas, that’s all it is. A dream.