Somewhere in the world right now, ten million souls are hunched over their keyboards writing novels. Ten million hopeful scribblers in their holes. ... The figure is a speculation, but backed up by statistics. A quarter of a million new novels are published annually across the globe, 100,000 of them in English. This represents, in turn, a quarter, maybe, of the manuscripts that agents try to hawk. Agents, as all writers know, take only a small proportion of the work they’re sent, perhaps a tenth. Ten million scribes in search of a reader may not be so tall a tale.