My debut novel Secrets & Charades released in 2017, ten years after I wrote the first draft and completed a fiction writing course. I received 21 rejections as I pitched that book to 21 different publishers. Each time I’d rewrite and improve the content based on what I was learning at writer’s conferences and on the suggestions I received from the publishers (if they gave any.)
I entered contests to get more feedback. I won the Editor’s Choice Award in 2014, which earned me coaching and edits to hone my story. That lead to publication. Since then, I’ve published two other novels with two more to release this year. And two more that have yet to find a home.
I learned a few important things during that ten-year journey from rough draft to publication.
- Never give up on your dream.
- Stay teachable, so you are approachable.
- Network with other writers, editors, and publishers, you never know when the door will open for you.
- Share what you know with novice writers.
- Humbly receive critiques and advice from other writers.
- Be thankful for all those willing to share their knowledge of publishing.
I discovered all these valuable tools while sitting in writer’s conference classes and workshops. I listened to the author’s journeys and found inspiration. I paid attention to changing trends and gained the encouragement to go on.
Authoring a book is hard work, getting it published is harder and marketing for good sales is the hardest of all. I went into this novel writing thing very naïve of those facts. I assumed because publishers requested my manuscript after my pitch that they would scoop it up. Had I known these same publishers review hundreds of manuscripts a month and may only choose a handful, I might have been less devastated.
If you are just starting your writing journey, learn all you can. And for the published author, never stop learning.
Hope this bit of encouragement benefits someone today.
Do you have a word of encouragement for other authors? Share in the comments.