|NBC's The Voice. 2012. Featured: Melanie Martinez (L) and|
Caitlin Michelle (R).
Oh, hey, Parenthetical Voice. What's shakin'?
(Not much. I've been watch The Voice because of your last post. And I've been comparing the Battle Rounds to publication--)
Oh, no. Don't do that.
(What? Why not?)
Okay, so, for those of you who aren't as versed in NBC's The Voice as Parry and I are--
Your name is too long. I mean, Parenthetical Voice? Come on.
(I don't like Parry.)
Okay. Fine. Be that way.
Anyway, for anyone who hasn't been watching The Voice, it's a singing competition on NBC. During my last post, I compared the Blind Auditions and the way the chairs turned to getting published or finding an agent. But Blind Auditions are only one part of the competition. After that, we move on to Battle Rounds.
In the Battle Rounds, contestants are paired against each other, by their coach, asked to sing the same song, and then one is eliminated.
(Right. So, anyway, I was going to compare it to publishing, too.)
No, seriously, don't. Here's the thing, there are no Battle Rounds in publishing. There will never be a time when your agent says "Okay, both of you clients, write a book about teenage werewolves, and then I'll drop the person who wrote the worse book. Okay, ready? GO!" That will not happen. The thing is, the people who accept you - the people who turn their chairs for you in publishing - want you to succeed. Because your success is also their success.
(Isn't that true in The Voice, too?)
Yeah, technically, but there are producers back stage saying we need more drama. Publishing is not a TV show, so there are no Battle Rounds.
(What about books on the market? What about when two books come out that are kind of similar? What if MY book is one of them? What if that other book is better than mine? And it sells better? OH MY GOD I MUST TAKE THEM DOWN!)
Okay, okay. Chill. Yeah, sometimes it happens. Sometimes two books appear on the market with a similar bent. But here's the thing - there are no battle rounds. The battles are all in your head. It's not like the book that sells less copies "loses." That's not how publishing works.
And, honestly, that battle in your head is a bad, bad thing. Because, unlike singing, you can't rehearse and practice a book's success. All you can do is write the best book you can. If you've done that, you're already a winner. But you can't control how many copies it sells or how many best seller lists it hits. And guess what? Many successful authors haven't hit those lists. Don't try to create battles where they don't exist. Your book isn't being paired against another.
And when you create those battles in your mind, it can really lead to disappointment. Everyone's publishing journey is different. Some people get a dozen agents to offer. Others get one. Some people sell their first book. Others sell their seventh or eighth or ninth. Some people hit the best seller list right out of the gate. Others never quite get there - and that's okay! There are a million different roads, and you can find success in all of them. But comparing yourself to someone else is a waste of time. Because two paths are the same. And, like I said, the battle is only in your head. No one is standing to the side of the stage, comparing and contrasting, and deciding who to eliminate. That's not how it works.
(So you're saying I shouldn't think of publishing and success like the Battle Rounds?)
Yeah. That's what I'm saying.
(But I SHOULD think about acceptance like the Blind Auditions?
Well, kind of. But yeah. Not everything in The Voice is applicable to publishing. And that's a good thing, because eventually people start getting eliminated and there's a winner--
What? No, that's not spoilers. Anyway, there are no Battle Rounds. So relax Parenthetical Voice. You're not getting eliminated anytime soon.
(Good to know.)