When I browse through "Forecast," the monthly Baker & Taylor catalog, my attention is first captured by the BIG BOOK offerings on the front and back covers and nearby pages.
Otherwise, as I look at the names and titles in each 120-page issue, my first thought is: WHO ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE?
Many of them are the authors whose work becomes part of the several hundred thousand new titles issued each year. And I haven't heard of 99.99% of them, and that includes some of the authors featured as bestselling.
Looking at the stats for a couple of years ago when 291,000 new titles were released, I realize that even though it seems like all of those titles come from big name authors, corrupt politicans, brothel owners, and celebs with more muscles or cleavage than brains, when it comes down to it, most of each year's titles come people most of us have never heard of.
That gives me hope: if this many people can walk through the publishing labyrinth each year, then it's not quite as hard as, say, building a spaceship and flying to Mars.
On top of that, I see the plots and titles of SOME of the books, and think, OMG, how did an agent or publisher stop yawning long enough to read the manuscript? Some of these wouldn't even keep a guppy reading to the end of the first page.
Certainly, we can do better with the title and/or the plot.
All in all, when I look at "Forecast," and ponder the sheer numbers of people who have figured out how to make it, and that includes both the wonderful and the lame, then I believe we all can figure it out.