FridayWritingTips: Making Your Book Great, Getting Rejected & the Sweet Revenge of Success
Whenever you send your book to someone to read, it becomes your identity. It is the billboard that is attached to your forehead and
represents who you are as a writer and many times, no matter how fictional your work is, it becomes melded into the way you are perceived. However, this is one characteristic that you can control. So, be sure to put your best foot forward. You want your book to be wearing its Sunday best when it’s out in the world. From the cummerbund to matching socks, you want your book to be wrinkle free of spelling and punctuation errors. You want it suited up to be in the best presentable format it can be in. You want to seduce your reader like a James Bond in a classic Aston Martin. And the best way to do that is to start by getting lots of peoples’ input. So many people send out manuscripts that are half-baked. If someone was coming to your house for dinner, you definitely wouldn’t serve your friends a nasty, mushy, half-baked cake. But we see writers who want to get published do this all the time. Unless you have recently turned up in the pages of People magazine or have already sold a treatment of your unwritten novel to a Big Hollywood Film Studio, chances are you’ll need to write the whole enchilada before you start trying to sell it. You will probably have to keep editing until it has been road tested and test-marketed by as many readers as you can get and it has been proofread and edited by trained professionals. Yes, of course, take all suggestions with many grains of salt. But if 10 people say your ending is not satisfying, guess what….Chances are, your ending is not satisfying. Writing a good novel takes a long time. Use that time to develop contacts by reaching out to people and doing nice things for them. People will be able to help you. As you are writing the book and making it perfect and rewriting the book and making it even better, you are collecting your tribe of people so that when the book is finished, you arrive at a publisher or an agent or a publication date if you decide to self published your book, with your tribe in tow, ready to go.
As you start to send your baby out into the world, constantly remind yourself that the greatest writers in the world, from Dr. Seuss to Stephen King to even J.K. Rowling, were rejected a multitude of times before becoming trend setting bestsellers. What makes you think you are any different? Jack Canfeld and Mark Victor Hansen (authors of the, now franchise, Chicken Soup for the Soul) were rejected a whooping 140 times before being published. Publishers are terrified of stepping out of their comfort zone, especially since they have no idea of what will work and what will fail. It’s a sweet irony that as soon as you sell a bunch of books, the same people who rejected you will be all over you like a gaggle of hormonal teenage girls trying to get a date to the prom with the cool kid.
“No one wants to give you your first job. Everyone wants to give you a job after you’re already successful. A couple of nutty brothers wrote a script that was made into a movie, and suddenly they had the ear of some Hollywood muckety-mucks, all of whom wanted to know, ‘Where’s your next script?’ The brothers had been working on a big, crazy science-fiction idea they wanted to direct themselves, but the idea was so huge and unusual that no one would give them the money for it. No one would risk giving them their first directing job on a film so large and strange. So they wrote a smaller, easier-to-make movie, much of which takes place in one apartment. Because the budget was so small, and the movie was so good, it made money. So now those Hollywood muckety-mucks, who wouldn’t give hem money to make their crazy science-fiction movie before their success, were more than happy to give them $70 million. The nutty sci-fi film? A little movie called—“
Want to know what movie? Or just learn more on this topic? Just turn to page 157 in your copy of “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published” by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry. Don’t have your own? Buy a copy of the book at your local bookstore or from: http://thebookdoctors.com/
Happy writing! See you at the bookstore. The Book Doctors