Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What it Takes to Get Published

Yesterday, Brenda Minton got a call she's been waiting years for. Harlequin Love Inspired has offered her a contract for her book ROSE COLORED GLASSES, which has been scheduled for release sometime in the summer 2007.

How cool is that?

Really, really cool. You see, she's been writing for years, submitting for years. Getting rejected for years. A few months back she made her very first sale and she was excited. Rightfully so. But she still wanted to be a Love Inspired author. It was her dream, her goal, her passion. In the years since we met, I've ridden the ups and downs of the publishing world roller coaster with Brenda, watching as editor after editor nibbled on a manuscript, seemed to like the taste, only to take a bigger bite and spit the whole thing back out. Did Brenda whine? Did she complain? Did she talk about quitting?

Of course she did. But then she got back in there and tried again. And again. And again.

And she didn't just try. She worked. She studied. She applied herself to the craft of writing and the art of storytelling. She didn't just talk about writing, she wrote. Because of that, she has become what she's always dreamed of being.

Which brings me to the title of this blog. What does it take to get published? It takes hard work, persistence in the face of adversity, self-discipline, a teachable spirit. And it takes failure.

Yes, as painful as it is to admit, most of us won't sell our first manuscript (as Brenda Coulter, another Love Inspired author did). Most of us will be rejected once, twice, twenty times. To succeed at writing, we must be willing to fail. Sometimes more than once. Sometimes so many times that we're raw and wounded from the experience. Then, raw and wounded or not, we've got to be willing to get up and go after the dream again. Just like Brenda did. Just like so many other authors have.

To get published we've got to be more afraid of not succeeding than we are of failing.

Are you?


Sabrina L. Fox said...

Thank you for the encouraging words.

I remember at conference last year a lady said she had like 19 rejections that year. I thought, "Wow! I'd have given up 15 rejections ago." But she kept on trying.

Brenda's story will give so many of us hope. So thank you for sharing it.

Shirlee McCoy said...

If you give up, you'll never know if you would have been successful. That's what I've learned from Brenda's story. And from the stories of so many other authors. It seems like a sale should be quick. We write a good book, an editor loves it, an editor buys it. Unfortunately, there's something to be said for timing - having the right book, in the right editor's hands, at the right time. Which we can never do if we don't keep trying!

It's a tough industry, but so worth it! Keep writing, Sabrina!

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Thanks, Shirlee. And as for the to blog or not to blog. I think you're doing fine. From what I've heard on the other blogs and forums, you're well loved.

Once everybody finds your "hidden" blog, you'll be in high demand. =)

I, for one, love to hear stories of how an author made it to publication and what the process of getting published was like. I love hearing about the editing process. So there's a few topics for you. Now, what am I going to blog about...I have no idea. LOL.

Shirlee McCoy said...

Good suggestions. I'll have to put them in the pile with 'death by synopsis'. My next topic. :0)

Hey, you didn't say what you write, or what part of the process you're in. Have you submitted something?

Hmmm, there you go. You now have plenty of things to talk about in your blog. :-)

Sabrina L. Fox said...

I have a request from LI to submit my Romantic Suspense. I feel like it's just a mess. I'm doing an intensive edit of it right now.

That's why I checked out your blog...I'm sure you have lots I could learn from. =) So bring on the "death by synopsis" sister. I'm ready. I'm going to let my crit partners know too. No pressure! ;)

Shirlee McCoy said...

So, drop me a line via email and tell me what the problem is with your manuscript. Maybe we can chat some more about it.