Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tuck and Roll - The Writer's Highway: Part Three

Weeks ago, I posted the introductory for a serial called: Tuck and Roll - The Writer's Highway.   If you missed the post, here it is.  

This series is meant to encourage and inspire you as a writer along your journey.

I brought out the illustration of a caterpillar.  Hence, the picture on this post.  We'll view this little guy as a sort of mascot the series.

So let's begin.  Today we'll discuss overcoming obstacles at these points in our journey: receiving agent rejections and the course of self-publication.

Receiving agent rejections
You've put the constructive criticism to work for you and you're ready to pursue your dream - you're going to get published.  You prepare the perfect query letter and synopsis and fire them off to agents, sure you’re going to be called that day.  After all that hard work you put into it certainly they’ll be calling.  But then…silence.

You don’t hear anything for days or weeks, or maybe you get an email fired back within minutes. “I’m sorry this isn’t for us but we wish you luck in pursuit of representation.”

Your inbox box becomes a collection of these but the message in all of them is the same.  To you they are screaming “You suck! Stop writing!  You don’t have what it takes!”

TUCK AND ROLL!
Those agents can only give you their feedback.  Try not to take the rejections personally.   You may have read agents are programmed to say “no” and they are.  Can you imagine wading through hundreds and thousands of query letters?

So, you can sulk in your corner because you haven’t been discovered as the world’s next greatest writer or you can take power into your own hands.  Maybe revamp your query letter or synopsis.  Have others look at these and help edit them for you.  Is your story line clearly defined?  Is it obvious your character is strong enough to carry an entire novel?

Maybe you don’t see anything wrong with your query letter or synopsis, does that mean you don’t have what it takes?  Absolutely not.

Publishing is a business – it’s not personal.  Trust me, I know it can feel that way at times, but it’s not.  Maybe the agent saying “no” doesn’t even reflect on your approach, maybe they just signed someone with a similar story, or they know the market’s saturated with that genre at the time.

Keep at it!  You have a dream and only you can make it happen!

The course of self-publication

So maybe you’ve given up on the idea of striking it rich, landing the NY agent and having the million dollar contract.  In some ways it’s good that you’re “bubble’s been popped” because now you can focus on reality. 

I’m not saying you can’t have all those things, but you can’t judge yourself on a scale that is made in the clouds either.  Of course we can ALWAYS dream :D

Maybe you decide to self-publish.

Now, I’m going to pause here because no one should decide to self-publish just because they are collecting agent rejections.  Deciding to self-publish is a huge decision which will affect your writing career.

Anyway, so let’s say you decided to self-publish but the sales are not raking up as fast as you would like.  Do you give up?

TUCK AND ROLL!
Things take time.  It’s been said many times, publishing is like a marathon not a sprint, and it’s true.  Keep writing, keep promoting, keep networking, socializing and helping other authors.

~~
Next time we'll discuss:  Part 4
Handling Bad Reviews
All the novels you’ve written are published, now what?