Apparently, 2011 is the Year of the Writer. Well, it's not official or anything, but judging by the amount of blog titles and general links that have appeared on my Facebook feed in the last week or so, 2011 seems to be THE year to get published. Never has there been so many fledgling authors who are desperate to score their big break.
Of course, with every new year comes a rise in the number of would-be authors, which of course makes it that much more difficult to get that elusive first publishing contract. There are a number of blogs around that have given out advice on how to go about selling your work, so I'm not going to say much on the subject or I'll run the risk of repeating ad nauseum, but something that interests me is the difference between Britain and America when it comes to getting yourself published.
Unless I'm mistaken - which I might be because, well, it's me - if you live in America, you won't get anywhere with your publishing dreams unless you hook yourself an agent, whereas over here in Britain, an agent would be an advantage, but is not really necessary. Now, that got me thinking... which way is better? If indeed either process is better? When you send your query and sample chapters, they are most likely going to be seen and judged by a single person no matter if it's a huge publishing house or an independent agent. So I don't really see any difference there. And if you are going to be rejected - which, let's face it, is going to happen whether you like it or not - it doesn't make a difference to your disappointment where that rejection comes from.
But it's apparently considered easier to break into the publishing industry in Britain than it is anywhere else in the world. Don't know whether it's because we are a small country, so there are less authors wanting to get out there, but that doesn't seem likely. There's probably a number of authors/ number of publishing houses equation to work this out, but I'm not mathematically inclined so I won't go there. I don't even know how I know that Britain seems to be a good place to live if you want to get published, it's just something I've sort of absorbed through my reading of many blogs.
I've also noticed that if your genre is Sci-fi or fantasy, then you're much more likely to attract interest in your work from an American agent, whereas if you write chick lit, then Britain's the place to be (which is good news for me seeing as the nearest thing I have to a completed novel is a chick lit comedy, though I may have to emigrate if I ever finish the fantasy/myth and magic/questy type novel).
I'm not sure where other genres fall in the 'best' location to publish from because I haven't really looked at anything other than my own genres, but it's definitely something to look into when you are ready to send off your queries. Maybe it's a bit of a stretch saying that you need to live in a specific country to have a better chance of publishing a specific genre, but I firmly believe it's worth looking at publishing houses and/or agents from Britain and America when you are ready to send off your literary masterpiece. *nods*