That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? I take my role as Your Editor and Chief Encourager very seriously, but I also know there are no sure things (in publishing or in life). The fact that I think a manuscript is good is no guarantee—for any number of reasons, none of which have to do with quality—does not mean it will find a home with an agent or a publisher.
Industry expert and editor Jane Friedman understands this paradox well.
Don’t you wish someone could tell you how close you are to getting traditionally published? Don’t you wish someone could say, “If you just keep at it for three more years, you’re certain to make it!”
Or, even if it would be heartbreaking, wouldn’t it be nice to be told that you’re wasting your time, so that you can move on, try another tack (like self-publishing), or perhaps even change course entirely to produce some other creative work?
Well, yes. But not even Jane Friedman can give you a guarantee, my friends. :)
She can, however, give you some good advice. Read this article. Go ahead and read the comments, too, as there are some interesting exchanges there, including one about the decision to treat your work as art or as a consumable product or commodity. There’s something important here for all writers, so check it out.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”