9. Only take advice from published authors. Authors, not agents, not publishers. Agents and publishers only say what they want, not what OTHER publishers and agents want.
No offense to agents and publishers who may someday read this, but a lot of advice isn’t very helpful. I believe that writers should write the story they are meant to write.
You have to make that story something that is readable, and you need to make it something that is marketable.
That doesn’t mean you start by writing to a market and going from there, which is the heart of what agents and publishers are about. That’s their job. It’s not your job as an author.
Agents and publishers will take chances on new talent, which is great because otherwise, we wouldn’t ever hear anyone new (although if you remember the Dark Ages of Sci-Fi 1990-2005 you may have gotten sick of seeing the same authors writing the same book over and over.) However, an agent or publisher is going to compare your book to other successful books when deciding whether to publish. That’s OK, they are a business, and they have to.
You don’t have to. Write what you need to write and make it the best, most marketable version of that story that you can. It may not be publishable. Or, it may be that you’ll only find a home at an indie publisher. You may have to self-publish. The big time may not come for that story. That’s OK, keep writing.
I wrote a story about tanks and planes and ballroom dancing in the far future on a planet with two suns. It’s coming out in October. New York Times Bestseller this is not, but that’s OK.
This is why you should take advice from authors. They’ve gone through the process of getting their story published. They’ve had the same struggles with rejection. When they offer advice, they know. Agents are telling you how to get chosen, which is great, and you need to know, but authors are telling you what is possible. Listen.