Someone once told me if you want something, you have to go after it hard. You have to give it everything inside of you, otherwise, it’s not something you really want. Ok, I just made the last part up. But the first part’s true. The problem is that it’s no cake-walk.
I ask myself, why isn’t it happening like those stories you read about? Instant success! 7-figure advance! 3-book deal! Well, after a lot of research and internal soul-searching, I have come up with a few answers, some lame and some that actually make sense. The most logical (and written-about) one is that the publishing industry is still recovering from the economic fallout and publishers just aren’t signing like they used to. They just can’t afford to take the risk so they go with tried and true, and books/authors that will sell. And well, 7-figure advances only come if you’re famous. Um…skydiving off the Empire State Building anyone? That would be 5 minutes of fame that may get me in the door. Kidding (but not really)! Another answer is that everyone and their mother (and father’s sister’s uncle’s cousin) is writing about the genre I am in – urban fantasy/paranormal. Including traditionally adult authors who want to cash in on the hot YA industry – the only area still growing like wildfire, which makes it incredibly competitive. The other (lame) answer is that maybe my books just aren’t good enough – but of course, that’s crap. If you ever get to read my books, you’ll know they are the farthest thing from crap. *dusts shoulder off*
It’s funny because I actually had one editor come back to me and use specific language that I have used in this blog to review one of the books she published. Sadly, it was not a great review, and yes, I paid the price when I saw her lovely rejection letter. I really didn’t like that book though, and still stand by what I wrote. There’s going to be a publisher out there who loves what I have done as much as I do.
So what’s the point of this blog post, you ask? I guess maybe it’s a bit of a self-pep talk, a pull-yourself-together talk. Despite all of the adversity, I have to pull some gumption from somewhere, and keep persevering. Most writers know that Stephen King was supposedly rejected tons of times before he sold his first novel. But did you know Gone With The Wind was rejected by 38 publishers before it was printed? Or Dune by Frank Herbert was rejected by 23 publishers? John Grisham was rejected by 16 publishers for A Time To Kill. There’s a great blog post from blogger Rachel Zurakowski from Books & Such, Why Are Great Projects Rejected? Interesting read.
Check out this great link for some more inspiration, 50 Iconic Writers Who Were Repeatedly Rejected.
You are not alone, and it will happen for you. All you need is one person to believe in you, as much as you do. So go after it hard. You can falter, that’s human…but as the singer Aaliyah said, dust yourself off and try again. Don’t give up. And remember, you can’t wait for opportunity to come to you, you have to chase it, put your back into it. Make it a life goal, and make the changes necessary to commit to your dream. It’s your dream.
It’s my dream.