Everyone is a writer.

Owning a bookstore and being a writer has taught me one thing -- everyone is a writer. Well, maybe not everyone, but one hell of a lot of people.

"I'm writing (have written) a book too!"

In talking to these writers, almost all of them are completely unknowledgeable about the publishing industry. What knowledge they do have is years, decades out of date. They've bought into all the myths about publishing.

When I try to tell them about self-publishing and Amazon, they dismiss the idea out of hand.

Look, I figure I would have a small chance, maybe a slightly better than small chance, to get published by the mainstream publishers if I really tried, if I took years to do it, if I was willing to accept tons of rejections.

I have no interest in going there.

I have to say, talking to most of these writers, that they have almost no chance. I'll leave the word "almost" there, because what do I know?

But their lack of awareness is truly amazing. They have no idea what they are facing. It's a little bit like watching a lamb wander into the lion's den.

I mean, if they want to reject self-publishing, I guess I can understand it (even if their rejection is based on faulty information) but when they don't take the time to check the state of publishing, how do they think anything is going to happen?

I point them toward some websites that might bring them up to speed, but I can tell they aren't going to do it. Honestly, in what other business would people believe they don't need to know anything about the business they're entering? (Well, retail stores, but that's another story.)

But really, just one afternoon of internet research would at least give them a general idea of what's happening.

Ignorance is bliss, I guess. I'm guessing that most of them have no intention of ever following through. Or if they do, that they'll give up at the first sign of resistance. They rather nurture their daydreams of glory that get down to the nitty gritty details.

I wonder how many writers succeed simply because they are willing to do the basic research (whether they are good writers or not) and how many writers fail because they don't do what they need to do (whether they are good writers or not.)

It's easier today than ever, but you have to make it easy for yourself.