Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rejection Letters are...


I know, that wasn't the answer you were hoping for, but they are.

Recently I saw a tweet by @agentgame "A rejection is not an invitation to debate the merits of your book" They are an agent's assistant so you can imagine how many nasty calls, emails, and letters they get after sending out rejection notices.

My advice to anyone hot under the collar at a rejection notice? Um... How do I say this... GET OVER YOURSELF!

Maybe your novel is the next Da Vinci Code (remember, that wasn't Dan Brown's first book even). Ok, so it is awesome. That doesn't mean this agent likes it. And if the agent doesn't like it, they can't sell it.

Remember even if the agent likes it, they have to consider (in the current economic times/trends/movement of the industry) if they can sell it.

Remember agents get told "NO!" all day long, all week long, all day long. Especially with new writers. The industry has simply moved away from 'developing' talent.

These days for an agent to take on an unknown author they would have to be INSANELY in love with your novel and basically be willing to do a bunch of pro bono work, knowing they might not see a sale, and even if they did it would be for pennies on the dollar.

So give agents a break. They are doing the best they can and have a right to have an opinion which may be that they are not the one to represent your work.

Therefore the rejection may have everything to do with the quality of your writing, or nothing to do with your writing.

Now the question becomes how can you tell the difference?

Writing groups for one. Share you work with your peers, find out if there is any way to improve the writing and... dare I say it... make it more commercial.

There are also services to evaluate your work and get it publish ready.

And lastly if you feel your work is the true opus you think it is... go Indie, baby. If you think you can sell 5,000 copies, get out there and sell 5,000 copies.

If you are thinking of going Indie, then you really need to check out @indiebookIBC a stream devoted to all things indie (writing, publishing, marketing) :-)

Next blog we will discuss the nuts and bolts of evaluating your query letter and 'package' to up your chances of NOT getting that rejection letter (now that you are all Zen with it :-)

Until next week!

As many of you know, I have gone indie myself with my pen name, @cristynwest's Plain Jane. You should click here to read 50 pages of this Patterson-style thriller with a dash of Silence of Lambs thrown in to freak you out. Find out why indie doesn't have to mean bottom of the slush pile :-)

Sunday, September 19, 2010


There is something magical that happens when you write consistently. The words flow more easily. The ideas are sharper. Life is simply better.

Then why don't we ALWAYS write consistently?

That is a good question.

I think sometimes when we get into that groove it scares us. I know I have written the best I have ever written then found some excuse, any excuse to not go back to the keyboard for days or even weeks.

It is almost like we fear we can never live up to that again. That giving ourselves permission to suck goes out the window. "But, but, but, I just wrote WELL! Don't make me go back to the salt mines of despair."

Why can't we simply be happy for that golden moment and then write daily until we experience it again?

I think because as writers we are superstitious. By thinking 'that was good.' Or 'that was easy,' we just doomed ourselves to never repeat it.

I am here to tell you that is NOT true. There was nothing magical or jinxing about feeling good about your writing.

It is also an exact moment in time you can NOT recreate. Whatever next good writing experience you have will NOT be exactly like you one you had.

And that is okay. It is okay to keep sucking and getting pages done because you WILL hit your stride again. The clouds will part and the heavens will smile down upon you.

As a matter of fact I find the more I simply embrace sucking and get my pages in for the day, the more frequently the skies above are clear. Actually the better I feel about sitting down to write, the better I actually write.

How about you try it for a week? Write consistently, every day. I don't care if it just 10 minutes, but write. Embrace the fact you are a writer.

ENJOY the process, not the perfect pages it may or may not create.

That is how I finished Plain Jane in 2 months. Simple, deliberate, day by day writing.

Want to see the result? Read 50 pages for FREE here and if you decide to buy, here is a 50% off coupon: RH88E

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Announcing the Indie Book Collective

If you are an author, either traditional publishing house or indie digital, you need to join the Collective!

Why? Because, let's face it; it's hard out there for an author (whether or not you have a publishing house behind you).

Sure you can write the book yourself and in theory even edit and then publish it all by your lonesome, but selling that puppy?

That takes a village. Or a collective :-)

Basically, we are a group of like-minded authors who are promoting our books through a combination of social media platforms and brick and mortar book stores.

How does it work? Well, I will refer you to our website for the entire down-low, but in a blog nutshell, the collective was formed to sell books through cross promotion.

If someone likes your book, they may like mine and vice verse. Do this over dozens or hundreds of authors and you've got yourself and marketing platform that you simply could not reach by yourself.

The core group of the collective have years of experience in indie publishing and marketing and are more than happy to share that with anyone who is willing to listen so you don't have to go through the 'growing pains' of the Indie life :-)

So check out @indiebookIBC and click here for the website!

Let me know what you think!

In the spirit of cross-promotion, I would love to do some cross-promotion for Plain Jane with anyone who has a mystery/thriller! Let me know by leaving a comment in the box below :-)

Even if you don't have a novel in my genre, I would love for you to read Plain Jane and give it a review! Click here to read 50 pages for free before you buy! #Iamagiverlikethat