I’ve written a couple of novels in the past (well, three, in fact, but I tore one of them up and binned it) and have ideas for writing another one, should my schedule ever make that possible. But chances of publication are remote, and according to this article in The Guardian, they are getting more remote by the second.
“…the idea of a novel quietly selling itself now, with no sense of the writer behind it, is far-fetched. Kate Saunders, one of the judges of this year's Orange Prize for fiction (the longlist, just announced, has half-a-dozen first novels on it), says: 'It is harder for first novelists to get noticed now. They will find, increasingly, that they are judged alongside their work - and are less likely to be taken on if they are not photogenic or newsworthy.'”
“According to the latest edition of Private Eye, first novel The Thirteenth Tale by ex-teacher Diane Setterfield (author's advance £800,000) has sold 13,487 copies to date. Only 516,129 to go and the book's paid for itself...”
The average hardback first novel sells only 400 copies in the UK, and the average advance is only £12,000 for the first two novels . The subtext: Don't give up your day job.