Waiting…impatiently!

Okay peeps, I finished my first book, The Welling: Creations, in January and have sent it out to several agencies, receiving nothing but rejections – or worse – SILENCE! Fortunately for me, I developed a very thick skin courtesy of eight years at the Maisonette Restaurant, so I’m not taking it too hard. Still, the waiting is killing me!

All advice points to starting a second book while waiting for the first to get discovered.  Trust me, that’s easier said than done.  Everything I’ve read says NOT to start the second book in my series, but let’s face it – I’ve never done what I’ve been told.  I feel like I have to keep the faith that my book series is good enough to go all the way, and that even though I have 4 other novels that are completely unrelated to my series screaming inside my head, I want to stay the course.  So, with that said, I have decided to start the second book in my series, The Welling: Transitions, today.

I will continue to send my book to agencies, in fact, I have a spreadsheet of 1st tier and 2nd tier agencies that I think are a great fit for my work.  I highly suggest that any new author (or established for that matter) keep a good spreadsheet of what agency you contacted, all their contact info, the date you sent the query letter and who you specifically sent it to.  Otherwise you’re going to have a big mess on your hands when you try to figure out who to query next and if you’ve already queried that agency/agent.  It is important to retain professionalism and not appear as a schleprock.

My next target, after querying agencies/agents is to target small publishing houses.  People have had quite a bit of success with small independent publishing houses as compared to one of the big 5 houses – especially for first time authors.  Once I’ve exhausted the agency list and the independent publishing houses, if I haven’t hung myself from the rafters in my attic, I will look at self-publishing, or as the industry calls it – vanity publishing (ouch).

If you are on the same journey as me, there are a few crucial web sites and books that are a must-have for any arsenal.

~ The current edition of Writer’s Market.

~ http://pred-ed.com (Preditors vs Editors is a great resource to find out who has a good reputation in the industry and who is not to be trusted.)

~ www.queryshark.blogspot.com (if you want to read great archives and advice on writing effective Query letters, this is the place for you.  I wouldn’t bother trying to post your own letter for her to review as she only takes a few.  Still, it’s a great resource.)

~ www.publishersmarketplace.com (another great tool to see who is legit out there.  You HAVE to manage your own career at this point and choose an agent/publisher that is trustworthy and is willing to put in the work to get you published.  Don’t just take the first ride that drives by – do your homework.  After all, you’ve worked hard on this dream and it deserves all of your protection/nurturing.)

Well, that’s all for now.  I will trudge on through the muck that is getting published without any real experience.  I have learned one thing above all, there is a certain amount of luck and karma involved in this process.  If you don’t believe me, refer to my last post about some amazing authors who started out with rejections and ended up with a career!

The Writing Struggle Is Real

People, the struggle is real out there for first time authors!

I have now submitted my query letter to 16 different agencies simultaneously, which granted isn’t a whole bunch, and have received 5 officials “no’s”. Depression sets in quickly. Several people have offered platitudes like, well, you should be proud of yourself for writing the book, that’s a huge success in itself or the other, at least you finally did it!
UGH! I relate it to my own platitude – which has become my standard response – it’s kinda like spending a year and a half on knitting a blanket only to throw it in the fireplace when you’re done.  That usually shuts them up quick!

I needed inspiration desperately before I hung my pen name out to dry. So I went hunting for comfort food in the way of rags to riches author stories. Here is what I found, maybe it will help you too!

My favorite is the J.K. Rowling’s story of Harry Potter getting published. Her literary agency received 12 rejection letters from publishers, and then the tenacious 8 year old daughter of an editor insisted on reading the rest of the manuscript. Then the editor agrees to publish but tells her she probably won’t make much money at it since it’s a children’s book. If it weren’t for that annoying 8 year old hounding her mother to read the book, it may have never been published, and Harry Potter would have remained hidden at Hogwarts forever.

WOW!!

For more stories of inspiration for us fledgling writers, you can visit:
http://www.litrejections.com/best-sellers-initially-rejected/

I guess the point of this blog is to say we have to keep trying, and even though the struggle is real, we must forge on to become the next J.K. Rowling in our specific genres!!