03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Four Reasons You Will Never Get Published

1. You don't know the right people.
2. 80% of you will never finish your manuscript.
3. Less than 2% of completed manuscripts get a publishing contract.
4. Traditional publishers don't believe your book will ever sell.

Fortunately for you, the publishing industry is in transition and you might have a chance after all. Let me explain:

You Don't Know the Right People

In the old publishing paradigm you had to get your manuscript in front an agent who knew how to get it in front a publisher. If you were lucky enough to get a publishing contract the publisher put you in contact with an editor, an illustrator, a book designer, et. al. You focused on the content and the publisher put together the team.

If you decided to self-publish your book, you had to assemble the team yourself. Unfortunately, most authors don't know any editors, illustrators or book designers. This was the number-one reason authors failed. You didn't know the right people, and if you did it was extremely difficult to collaborate with them on your book.

Today you can build a team with a few clicks, using Internet communities. The Internet has enabled editors, illustrators, book designers and other author service professionals to create easily-browsed portfolios. You also have much easier access to your social network through containers like Facebook and LinkedIn. Now you don't need to know the right people, you just need to reach out to them.

80% of You Will Never Finish Your Manuscript

Computers make writing easier, but documents still get split between computers, saved in different folders, even lost to computer crashes. Not to mention the nightmare of sharing files with other people. Email makes collaboration a little easier, but it is still a convoluted mess. If you are still using these techniques the odds are against you.

Now you can write your manuscript online using a number of simple, collaborative tools. The documents are saved and backed up daily. You never have to wonder which computer you used last, or what version of the file you were working on. You just log into your online account, choose the project and start typing. Collaboration is much simpler, too. You can actually work on a manuscript with an editor in real-time. That means you don't have to sift through emails, various versions of documents and printed manuscripts. It's all in one place. Today you are more likely to finish your manuscript.

Less Than 2% of Completed Manuscripts Get A Publishing Contract

Before the Internet, publishing giants had a tough job. They had to filter manuscripts so they didn't overwhelm bookstores with too many titles. It was very important to only publish books that could sell thousands of copies. That makes sense because limited bookshelf space equals limited published titles.

Today shelf space is unlimited. Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online bookstores have infinite shelf space. They can carry any title published. And if your book is a blockbuster, or if someone makes a special request at a brick and mortar bookstore, the store can order your book and have it delivered in under a week.

Online publishers are democratizing the industry. Anyone can publish a book and let the customer decide whether it's worth buying or not. Publishing giants no longer have the power, the consumer does. You no longer have to get permission to publish your book.

Traditional Publishers Don't Believe Your Book Will Sell

A traditional publisher needs to sell thousands of copies of a book to make any money. If they don't believe your book will sell at least 10,000 copies, they won't give you the time of day. There are two reasons for this. First, they print 10,000 copies of your book and store them in a warehouse to keep costs down. If they don't sell, you end up with pulp. Second, there is only so much money a publisher can spend on marketing before they give up on a book.

Today you can print one book at a time and you don't have to sell thousands of copies before you start making a profit. For example, you can write, publish and distribute your book to over 32,000 retailers online in both print and e-book formats, for less than $100. If you are making $5 on every copy sold, your break-even point is 20 books. You probably have 20 friends who will buy your book without blinking.

Four Reasons You Will Get Published

If you try to go the traditional route, prepare to be blocked at every turn. But if you take advantage of emerging social publishing tools like FastPencil, you can sidestep those obstacles. You can find the right people. You can finish your manuscript, publish it, and sell it your way. It's your book, and you don't need permission to put it out into the world.