How many readers do you have?
The fact is, if you have been a member of writing.com for any length of time, your work has been read by multiple hundreds of readers, and possibly thousands. Let us consider a comparison: consider that you have written a collection of ten short stories and combined them into book form. You go through the laborious tasks of sending your manuscript to various publishers and find one who is desirous of publishing your book. Now, aside from the part where you are dancing on the ceiling, many things must already have been considered. Who is your target readership? How many books does the publisher anticipate selling? How much will the book cost? Do you see your book selling thousands of copies as it sits proudly at the entrance of Barnes And Noble?
It is at this point in our daydream that I become somewhat dubious. I do not claim to be an expert on the way the publishing industry works. But there are things that seem fairly obvious. The industry is highly competitive, and publishers are there to make a profit. Also, most books are rejected multiple times before they find a home, if they ever do. If you are writing for a market that is already flooded with your chosen genre, your chances of making it big are nil to none. Finally, and this is disturbing, there are many cases where writers with little genuine talent get published. When they pull off that first novel, their second one will often ride on the coattails of the first. It’s like the case of The Beatles as they became famous. It got to the point that it didn’t matter what they wrote. They could have written a song that said la la la la la, and people would have thought it was wonderful. This phenomena works for writers in the same way.
So, you want to be published? There is nothing unusual about that, as most writers do hope for that one fine day. Of course, there is always self-publishing. But, for the time being, ruminate on this. Practice your craft and learn as much as you can. Study books on grammar and form, and increase your vocabulary. Read, read, and read more still. If you are a writer you must have a writer’s tools and know how to use them. And, although this may sound like an advertisement for writing.com, I am only stating what is true. There is a very good chance that your work will be read by more people on this site than would ever be read if you were published. That is not to say that you should give up on being published. If that is the road you wish to take, go for it. Until your dreams come true, this is the best place you could be to hone your skills. Think of it like this: consider every read and review you get as a sale of your story or poem. Wow! You’re getting rich.