Rejection: the biggest heartache a writer faces. It hurts every time.
Revision and Resubmission: (which should include another R for RARE).
Representation: Agents and publicists. Do you need one/them? Do they really help? Can you afford to slice your royalty pie smaller on the chance you’ll do better with an agent and/or publicist?
Readers: Most publishers have a built-in audience in sub-genres. A new author might not know that. I didn’t. We’re so eager to land that contract, see our name in print, and chase the lure of fame, we sometimes make the mistake of selling a book to a publisher that won’t have the audience influence we need. It’s a big world and punching a hold in the literary universe with your name on it is 50% hard work and 50% pure luck. You can’t reliably predict what readers will love or hate. Be nice to readers. All of them.
Reviews: So, your book is out, sales are happening, and here come the reviews. Some will be very fair in their remarks. Some are going to sting like vinegar in a wound. I’ve had people tell me never to write another word EVER. I’ve been made to sound like a hack. I’ve also been compared to Nicholas Sparks, named a bestselling author, and won awards. I’ve cried tears of joy, and tears of humiliation. I try to take something from every negative review. Even if it’s a stiff drink afterwards.
Royalties: Ah, the sweet scent of cash – via PayPal. Can you make money as an author? Absolutely, but a lot of factors come into play to determine how much. It’s very hard to predict what readers will like or why they’ll buy your book. Use social media to try to influence buyers in your circles to build some sales momentum. The rest of the reading universe is on the hunt. A good cover and blurb are going to be crucial. I don’t believe you can justify your success based on sales alone. Publishers are in it for the money. They don’t usually contract books they don’t think will sell. Getting contracts are nods to your talent.
With each book, I learn more. Some days I want to chuck it all. That’s the day I reach for the last R.
Rewarding: Writing a story somebody read and enjoyed is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It gives me the courage to put some of the other Rs that aren’t so fun in the drawer next to my crayons and matches.
I hope your day is filled with the good Rs.
Until the next time,