I’ve been getting this question quite a bit lately. I guess it’s a bit boggling to the mind to think about the queries agents receive and to contemplate the authors behind them, and the sheer number of people out there working on books.
Are there really 15,000+ people a year querying agents? Are there really that many novels and memoirs and self-help books and alien encounters of the dubious kind? There are really that many people writing books? Really?
There’s only one way to answer this question: yes, there are. There really are.
But there’s a Part II to the answer, which is, as Kristin Nelson recently wrote: don’t worry about those other books out there.
It’s so tempting to feel as if your books is in competition with all of those other books on submission, not to mention the ones coming out by already-popular authors, and to be bogged down by the sheer impossible odds of it all. It’s temping to want someone else’s success story to be yours and to measure whatever success you’ve achieved against someone who has “made it.”
Don’t do it. The only person you’re in competition with is yourself. You can’t control how many people are out there, how many queries agents are getting, how many celebrities are writing books, etc. etc.
All you can control is your own work. Focus on that. The odds are just numbers. Don’t let them get you down.