And why/how do they happen?
When you get the answer to that, PLEASE let me know!!! I'll turn to Mecca, light incense and green candles, meditate with monks - whatever it takes for that to happen!
Me too. At this time of life, nothing is overnight, but achieving success with the book that is coming out would be fabulous.
Well, I suppose it's like the lottery - somebody's going to win. To address Jeff's question, conspiracy books that already had publicity might be "overnighters" if the books come out soon after the event. JK sold Harry Potter overnight; well, they were sold before they even hit the bookshelves. Um, um, um - that would be sweeeeet.
My hunch is that if you study over-night success you will realize that most of them were actually preceded by countless days of trial and error. However, a small core of them might still have been almost literally spontaneous success stories.
Good comment, and your hunch is right. It's easy to see the success and focus on all that brings, but after-the-fact, it's easy to pass over the fact that the success came with years of hard work - yes. So, your question creates another one: who gets that overnight success and who doesn't when each invested years of hard work? That's the recipe we all want to have. I suppose financing the project is a major key - money invested in any project pushes you at the head of the line. Media exposure, perseverance, good agents and publishers, and the time and money they invest. I'll keep turning toward Mecca, though, and see if that helps.