In this week's week-in-review post, she quoted me ...
But there seems really to be no "middle class" in traditional publishing now. You can't be *dependable*: you have to be a breakout, and - never mind the pressure, it's just a matter of numbers, and the numbers dictate, we simply cannot all be The Next Big Thing.
We call it mid-list but you're right. It's like the Army; you can't spend five years in the same rank or your career is pretty much over. Get promoted or get out. Like baseball: you can play on the farm teams for a while, but either move up, or hang up your glove.
Publishing is not the only place this up or out pattern applies. But it only applies to COMMERCIAL publishing. You can publish and sell your own work forever. That's one of the many great things about the electronic marketplace: it's easy to access and it actually works. I'm not saying it's easy to self-publish (well, it is, but let's assume I mean self-publishing well here) but that the barriers to buyers are much diminished from where they were 20 years ago.
I think she's seen enough of my comments at her own blog contemplating commercial (what I've been calling traditional, which she rightly calls commercial - augh, and now to fix my tags ...) publishing versus self-pub, and certainly she knows my writing, for my interpretation that she's Telling Me Something - or, at least, agreeing with my self-evaluation - not to be completely out of hand.
And even if it is, at the end of the day, she's neither my agent nor my ultimate guide; just a kind reader - and a professional - along the way I am taking.
So whether she meant "anything" or not ... the upshot is the same. I don't know that I want to hold out for the big leagues. I sure know I don't want to be in the military ...
And, really, right now, what I OUGHT to be worrying about is the WIP.