Everything you said is true, Dave. If you read between the lines, it means that success as an author comes in creating a good product and engaging in good business practices.
The bottom line is that writing is a business, just like any other. Create a good product (a good or even adequate book), put some money into marketing and promotion, be willing to take risks and invest in your product, meet as many people in the business as possible (network like crazy), have chutzpah and (through a combination of these means) create your own luck.
Just like any other business, your ability to succeed or fail will depend on how good your product is and how willing you are to persist in doing all the things I've mentioned. If you don't believe that, consider how many small businesses in general fail within the first year or so. There's a definite comparison to be made here, between small businesses in general and authors' careers in particular.
Clearly, you don't have to be a literary genius to do this. Just look at Patterson, Dan Brown and any number of other adequate, but not great, authors who've achieved great success.
Published by Lulu http://www.lulu.com/content/3923913
Available as an e-book on Amazon, Scribd and Smashwords
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