When Publishers Pass You By

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When I was much younger and just beginning to realize that I wanted a future as a writer, I had starry-eyed notions of a major publisher recognizing my talent and jumping to offer me a contract (with a generous advance, of course). Yeah, not so much. Instead I have a pile of rejection letters, mostly of the form variety, some with encouraging words about how my writing is good (just not quite right for them). I had to learn the hard way that being a good writer isn’t enough to get published. In fact, sometimes you don’t even have to be able to write at all as long as you have a big enough name to guarantee sales. Depressing doesn’t even begin to cover it.

A recent article in the Washington Post shares how Madeleine L’Engle and other well-known writers have suffered rejection over their careers. So how to deal with it when it happens to you?

Like L’Engle, stick to your vision. Don’t compromise your work to suit the industry’s sometimes narrow definitions of salable. Your readers are out there, even if your book is genre defying and a little odd (something readers are a lot more open to than publishers).

Like J.K. Rowling, keep persisting. Just because 12 publishers reject your book doesn’t mean 13 won’t be your lucky number.

Like Beatrix Potter, do it yourself. Self publishing has been around a long time and is only getting bigger. When traditional publishers have let you down (or you don’t even want to bother with them in the first place), don’t be afraid to go the indie route (which is what I did with my dark fantasy novel, Love Lies Bleeding).

Whatever you do, don’t let rejections get to you. They are common, they are inevitable, and they don’t reflect the quality of your work or you as a person. Just remember: a good story will find a way.

How do you deal with professional rejection? Share in the comments.

In the Underground

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My novel, Love Lies Bleeding, has caught the attention of indie book site Underground Book Reviews. Click here to take a look, and maybe while you’re there you could vote for Love Lies Bleeding to help it get more exposure (you have to log in to vote but it’s quick and easy, and this indie author would be most appreciative). See you in the underground…

 

Weird Habits of Writers

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I recently read an article about 11 weird habits that all writers can relate to, and I’ve got to say they weren’t wrong. Dramatically staring into space while thinking about what my characters will do next? Check. Ending up on security watch lists thanks to my online research? Check. Losing track of time, dates, and reality itself thanks to working from home immersed in a fantasy world of my own creation? Check check.

Reading the list got me thinking about my own odd habits, which I’ve decided to share. After all, as the article pointed out, writers spend a lot of time alone–why not take a moment to bond over our mutual strangeness?

My Weird Habits as a Writer:

Seeking Out Mindless Activities so I Can Think: When my hands are busy but my mind is free to wander, that’s when I come up with some of my best ideas, solve problems with my stories, or mentally write entire passages (my phone is handy–and more likely to be nearby than pen and paper–for getting it all down before I inevitably forget). Mindless activities I recommend: weeding the garden, easy crafts, cleaning the house, ironing…

Telling Myself Stories to Help Me Fall Asleep: I’ve had trouble sleeping my entire life–the one thing that’s almost guaranteed to get me to sleep is telling myself a story in bed. It’s been the same story for a while now, with minor variations. Strangely enough this repetitive storytime actually does help with my writing. Every so often I’ll get an idea for a new character, or notice themes I should explore.

Watching (a lot of) TV: Sometimes it’s background noise that works a lot like any other mindless activity (see above). Sometimes it’s inspiring, giving me ideas to consider. Sometimes it’s instructive, helping me with pacing, or seeing aspects to storytelling that do or don’t work. Sometimes it’s just entertaining, which is also important.

I’ll leave it there, although there are more (so many more). What weird habits do you have as a writer (or in general)? Share your weirdness…

Just a reminder: time is running out to enter my giveaway. Want a chance to win a free copy of my dark fantasy novel, Love Lies Bleeding? Take a moment and enter.

Receive and Give

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Sometimes when you do something for yourself, you can also help someone else (don’t you love it when that happens?) If you’ve ever considered trying out Kindle Unlimited (so many books, all free to read), now is the perfect time. Until the end of February, Amazon is donating $5 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for every eligible person who signs up for a free 30-day trial of Kindle Unlimited. Click here to sign up, or to find out more about Amazon’s initiative and what the Susan Komen Foundation does.

By the way, Love Lies Bleeding is one of the many books available free on Kindle Unlimited 🙂 Find it here.

And before you go, have you entered my giveaway yet?

CLOSED Giveaway

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February is Women in Horror Month (WiHM), and to celebrate I’ll be giving away a copy of Love Lies Bleeding. 

To enter:

  1. Share this post on social media. Each different place you share gets you one entry.
  2. Comment on this post letting me know where you’ve shared (links appreciated). Please also leave a way for me to get in touch with you should you win.

Simple, right? You have until the end of February, so get sharing! Check the Fine Print (below) for contest rules and regulations. Good luck!

Women in Horror Months is an inclusive event that aims to showcase the underrepresented work of women throughout the horror industry. This is the perfect time to seek out writing, art, and film you may have overlooked in the past. If you’d like to find out more about WiHM, click here.

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The Fine Print:  Continue reading “CLOSED Giveaway”