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The Long Game: A Success Story for Writers

4 minute read

The illusion of success is that it came overnight. It’s easy to understand why. Who doesn’t like to think that one great idea, or one focused effort, can make our dreams come true? As a culture, we glorify the rags to riches story. We celebrate athletes, businesses, and stars that seem to come out of nowhere and take the world by storm. But while these cases arise, the prevalent success story comes from grit, endurance, and a desire to develop.  

One of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, once told a story on his Masterclass session about a timeworn work that still lives in his attic to this day. He described how he dusted off the manuscript one day, read it, and then shoved it back into the attic where it belonged. Gaiman implicated that the book left a lot to be desired, but reading it again gave him peace of mind. It helped him realize that his voice was there, but his craft still needed work. He gathered the tenacity and withstood, growing with each published project, which would accumulate into his vast extension of accomplishments that today makes him a world esteemed storyteller. 

Writers live off of the hunger that our next work is going to be the big one. If you want to survive in the publishing market, that’s the attitude you need to have. However, like a set of ascending stairs, each project, if it gains an ameliorated quality, brings you closer to your aspirations. Set goals, expectations, and add a bit of a dream to the equation, and your next title will be a success whether it upgrades you to a larger publisher, gets you that agent you’ve been drooling over, or it turns into a New York Times Best Seller. Still don’t believe me? Just look at these stats. 

According to a study by writer, Joseph Epstein, 81% of Americans feel they have a book in them and should write it. That’s 200 million aspiring authors. 97% of people who write never finish their book. So, for every thousand people, thirty complete the task. Then there’s the demanding job of being published. A report taken from Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Surveys states that of those survivors who wrote a book, only 13.4% earn a traditional publishing contract. Even after that, according to Quora Digest, the odds of being able to make a living as a writer are 1 in 10,000, but that likely means you’re also writing as a journalist, freelancer, etc., besides books. If you want to become a household name, at least in your genre, odds of that happening are 1 in 100,000. 

Given these proximate numbers, it’s clear that defying the odds and transforming into a success overnight, no matter how good your work might be, is unlikely. An author might set themselves up for failure by placing all their hopes on one work. Rather, they should feel assured knowing they’re determined to push forward with a new marvelous project, inching towards the top with every improved manuscript. The more monumental projects you put out into the world, the stronger the odds grow. After all, the illusion of success is that it comes overnight, but it’s the plural form of the word “overnight” that gets a writer where they want to go in their career.

Looking for an amazing, original URB Fantasy?

Fans of Terry Pratchett and Shane Kuhn’s THE INTERN’S HANDBOOK will love this noir supernatural thriller. 

Death needs a vacation. Badly. But there’s a catch: There are people who cheat the system, always falling through the cracks and not dying like they’re supposed to. Who’s going to take care of them while Death’s sipping on sangria? 

The answer is simple: Death needs an intern, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that one prospect, Buck Palasinksia-a bankrupt hitman with a roleplaying addiction-might have what it takes. While scoping out his next target, Buck gets drilled in the forehead by a bullet and falls right into Death’s lap. 

If they shove him back into his body, he’ll have a few weeks to prove that he has what it takes to be Death’s right-hand. 

All he has to do is take out Public Enemy No. 1, John Dillinger, and quit smoking.

A Dead-End Job https://www.amazon.com/dp/1956136096/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_B33RW1KWF1CRFXYQS4MK

A Dead End Job is the perfect Stocking Stuffer

The Ghost of Christmas Future has his own intern, and they’re looking to give season’s beatings to anyone who tries to cheat Death. Put this award winning urban fantasy novel in your cart today!

Guess Who’s the ManyBooks Author of the Day…that’s right — Justin Alcala

That’s right! ManyBooks.net has given me the prestigious honor of being the Halloween “ManyBooks: Author of the Day.” Check out the link in my bio come 10.31 to read my upcoming interview, talk about A DEAD END JOB, and other literature fun!

https://manybooks.net

“A Dead End Job” Is Here

I give you 💀A DEAD END JOB 📖
Join Ned the undead hitman as he interns for Death. If you love absurdist fiction, urban fantasy or sarcastically fun books, this is the one for you. Find out why Publisher’s Weekly named it “Best Book of the Week” and why Speculative Fiction Foundation made it one of its top picks. Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books or wherever great books are sold! ! !

Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or wherever else great books are sold.

A Dead-End Job https://www.amazon.com/dp/1956136088/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_4YXEZCB013WEFX6APWEQ

Death needs a vacation. Badly. But there’s a catch: There are people who cheat the system, always falling through the cracks and not dying like they’re supposed to. Who’s going to take care of them while Death’s sipping on sangria? 

The answer is simple: Death needs an intern, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that one prospect, Buck Palasinksia-a bankrupt hitman with a roleplaying addiction-might have what it takes. While scoping out his next target, Buck gets drilled in the forehead by a bullet and falls right into Death’s lap. 

If they shove him back into his body, he’ll have a few weeks to prove that he has what it takes to be Death’s right-hand. 

All he has to do is take out Public Enemy No. 1, John Dillinger, and quit smoking.

Hahaha! You have to take this A DEAD END JOB Quiz to learn about your weapon of immortal destruction

“Lilith, my oldest work-friend since… well, friends became a thing. Unmentionables weren’t around when dinosaurs and other eat-poop-then-die creatures were on Earth. It’s only when sentience became all the rage that God cut off her finger and gave it to me as Lilith, divine retribution for anyone bold enough to manipulate the cosmic work schedule. Since then, Lilith has, and always will be, the most dangerous weapon in existence. While I used her special holy abracadabra to transform Lilith into a scythe, she adjusts to the user’s character in order to be the best possible work tool. So if you want to be my next intern, and you’re comfortable getting my dry-cleaning, let’s first see what’s in that mushy pink wetware between your ears. It’s a sorting hat sort of thing, only with irremediable, world ending consequences.”
-Death

https://www.buzzfeed.com/parliamentbooks/the-sorting-hat-for-killers-4l2ia0r8rv

Artfully Told Podcast w/ Guest Author, Justin Alcala

📡You have to check out this podcast! 🎙
The @artfullytoldpodcast and I connect to talk #ghoststories , writing tips, #kidsinspiration and the latest book, “A DEAD END JOB.”

“At Artfully Told, we know that everyone has a story about how art has impacted them. We share those stories, from both artists and non-artists alike, to create community and conversation.

In this week’s episode, I welcome Justin Alcala! Justin is an author and tabletop gamer and his episode is packed with crazy, amazing stories, including about growing up in a house that was built on behalf of the South Side Mafia in Chicago with a tunnel to the house across the street. He shares about how his daughter has informed his work, along with his advice for aspiring artists.”

 

Check Out the Podcast on Podbean

Death’s Countdown begins

The countdown begins. We are 32 DAYS away from the release of “A DEAD END JOB.” I can’t wait for you to meet Death, Buck, Idaho Face, the Charles Bronson Quartet and so many more. Parliament House Press is working on some fantastic giveaways for September, including a special contest that gives you a signed copy of the book along with Death’s Hello Kitty vault key, a “What weapon would Death’s scythe turn into if it was in your hands” game and a chance to apply with your own resume in order to become Death’s next intern. We will give out dozens of copies via Goodreads as well, so be sure to connect with us on its platform. Don’t forget to click the “Contact Author” button or send a message in order to be added to our newsletter for special giveaways and information. Until then, hang in there with your dead-end job. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.