Within the last few weeks, I've spoken on some panels regarding writing and the world of publishing. Invariably, there was always someone in the audience frustrated in their attempt at finding a publisher. It has never been easy for most to acquire an agent or editor, but it does seem to be more difficult now. However, when stories like Andre Agassi scoring a 5 million dollar book deal are reported, it makes those struggling writers even more frustrated. According to the New York Post, "the winning bid is a world-rights deal with the Alfred A. Knopf imprint in hardcover and the Vintage trade paperback imprint, both owned by Random House Inc."
Think about it: 5 million dollars.
Granted, Agassi's story will garner much interest, much more than your average novelist, but it's been estimated that in order for the publisher to make money, over 500,000 copies will need to be sold.
Meanwhile, writers are still searching for their break and it doesn't even have to be big. There are writers' conferences across the country that offer the mechanics of writing, and there are other conferences that provide information about how to get one's foot through that ambiguous door called publishing. Needless to say, there was no need for Agassi to concern himself with these conferences and yet he will have succeeded beyond most writer's ambitions. Nevertheless, something that we all must accept is that it makes business sense to publish a tennis legend's book; whether it makes sense to pay him 5 million dollars, only time will tell.