Thursday, March 4, 2010

Losing at the Numbers Game

I went to a fabulous picture book workshop a couple of weeks ago led by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. Let me tell you, Sudipta is one impressive cookie. She puts me to shame.

We both starting writing PBs around the same time. We both got our first contract around the same time. (Mine was in 03 and I believe she said hers was in 04.) Our debut books came out the exact same month- April 2006. (Mine was Hop! Plop! Hers was Tightrope Poppy)

Okay, are you read for this? I just got my second contract. Sudipta just got her 15th!

How does she do it, you ask? Well, to answer that would probably take up several posts, but let me start by saying, she WRITES. I talk about writing. I think about writing. But Sudipta actually writes.

I average about one solid picture book manuscript per year. Sudipta averages ten.

So, I've written around 10 manuscripts and sold two.

She's written around 75 and sold 15.

Guess what? Same exact hit percentage. We are both selling approximately 1 in 5!!!

It's a numbers game, people. And she is winning!

28 comments:

Jonathon Arntson said...

You're def a winner in my eyes.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

But on the bright side, you just admitted to having the same hit percentage of a writer you referred to as "an awesome cookie". Guess what? That makes you an awesome cookie too! :-)

Bethany Mattingly said...

I agree with Shannon! Writing 75 picture books in one year is certainly amazing though.

Yat-Yee said...

Wow! 75?!!

*slinks back to my WIP I am trying to escape from.*

Candice said...

That is so interesting that the numbers are the same. I'm on my third book, so statistically speaking, I'm about half way there!

Kim said...

I am impressed with BOTH of you! Yes, numbers may be part of it, but you also have to be good at the craft. And, obviously you BOTH are. Don't sell yourself short.

B.J. Anderson said...

Wow, that's crazy!!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wow. She must have an idea factory of a brain.
I'm joining Yat-Yee and slinking back to my wip.

Kelly H-Y said...

WOW ... that's all I can say!

Deb Markanton said...

Corey, wow! What a concept...write! I, too, think about and talk about my writing every day but do I write every day? Nope. How many times do I need to hear "just write, Deb!" before it's going to sink in?

Susanne Drazic said...

Wow. That's interesting.

Corey, congrats on your second contract. That is something to be proud of. I like the cover of your first book.

beth said...

Hey--you have the same ratio. That's a win in my book!

Lisa and Laura said...

Holy crap. 75 manuscripts!?! That is amazing. And here's the thing, you're a published author! Do you have any idea how many people say "I'm totally going to write a picture book," and either never get around to it, or try and fail. You rock, lady.

黃綠藍 said...

nice to know you ~........................................

Rebecca said...

The solution to your problem is simple. Write more!

Corey Schwartz said...

Hey,everybody, not feeling sorry for myself. Just feel like I need to light a fire under my butt :)

T. Anne said...

WOW, congrats to you both! Don't knock yourself Corey, I think you're pretty darn impressive!! But you're correct in saying success comes through completion. I need to focus on this as well.

Rena said...

I agree with T.Anne -- congrats to you both!

taralazar said...

Yeah, time to light a fire. If you've both got the same hit percentage, then that means the more manuscripts you write, the more potential sales. Let's get crackin', lady! I've got a match and I'm coming over!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

those damn numbers again - grrrrr. lets beat the odds.

Karen said...

Whew! This simultaneously builds my hope and crushes it at the same time. For me, the writing isn't as hard as the submitting, but I could have 5, 75, 750 polished manuscripts. They aren't doing any good if they're not getting out there.

Megan Abrahams said...

Congratulations, indeed. I think the one thing to take away from this is a new motivation. Accent the positive and all that. Then write more.
That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

Ladybird World Mother said...

I so take my hat off to you for writing and getting contracts for doing so... I keep thinking I'll do it soon, but never do. So good on you! x

Melissa said...

Sudipta's numbers just boggle my mind, but your success is no less impressive.

I'm pretty good at whip-cracking, so . . . CRACK! Consider yourself whipped (in a good, productive way, of course). ;-)

Hardygirl said...

Whew--one in five!! This makes me want to write like crazy!!!

sf

Corey Schwartz said...

Yeah, SF! Me too!!!

Elizabeth said...

Same ratio!

But can you really compare? Everyone works differently.

Glad to have found your blog!

Romelle Broas said...

Interesting. I have several drafts I am working on. It is taking me a while to finalize. Revisions are never-ending with me. Do you concentrate on one ms at a time before submitting or do you work at several at a time? If I don't submit, I guess I will never know my percentage, huh.