Rejection Letters and Negative Reviews

“How do you do it, TW?  Rejection letters suck!”

I didn’t know how to respond to that comment at a recent gathering of writers.  I have asked the very same question in my life, and now years later, I think I have a handle on it.

When I first wrote The Saga of the Starduster, it outperformed and still does exceed my other novels in sales.  That includes the naughty stories, which is somewhat surprising.

My first bit of advice to young writers is this.  ‘Don’t be a one-trick pony.’

It is no secret that I have a day job.  I cannot afford to hire editors, book cover designers, marketing experts and to pay some firm for reviews.  In fact, I use the free ISBN numbers just because I refuse to pay some firm to sell me ten numbers like I won’t pay to register some star in someone’s name.

Rule one is, always have another project going.  Have another story that is a W.I.P.   If you have raised children, you know that we raise them to be independent.  We raise them to make their way into the world much like the sea turtle lays its eggs in the sand, and heads back into the water to start the process all over again.

Your book, your project much like those eggs must hatch and take flight.

Someone purchased The Saga of the Starduster and gave it one star.  They did their best to smear the novel, having it sound like a cure for insomnia.  I read it, realized by the comments that they never read it, and went back to my WIP.

Monitoring the sales, their review did not hinder sales of that novel; in fact, they might have improved slightly.  Since then, others have reviewed the book and I am not disappointed with their comments.

As writers, we have no idea who these people are, and if they write under a pseudonym like this one reviewer did, I give it little credence. I think most readers are smart enough to realize that small fact.

Rejection Hurts.

As we spend chunks of our lives, creating the literary works of art, we believe that our creation is the best thing ever written.  That is how we are preyed upon by those who offer services like editing, book cover creation and so on.  ‘I just need a good cover or professional editing and I will be the next…fill in the blank.’

Because we cannot be objective ‘for the most part,’ we are an easy target for those who might be like us.’  They might have tried several times to get something published, and they might know more than you.  Because they cannot sell their stuff, they try to sell their services to assist you.

At this point in the game, you have options.

  • Pay for assistance.
  • Query agents and cross your fingers
  • Learn all you can about each step of the process and do it yourself.

If you follow me, you know that I have opted for the latter, and sometimes the second in the process as I have no idea who is who, in the world of paying for assistance.

Involve yourself in the industry, and you will soon learn the ropes to skip and the ones to jump. I think honesty with yourself is probably the ticket to not being screwed over by the predators out there.

I happen to like what I write and will often pick up one of my previous novels and re-read it and yes, add to it, or take away from it as I deem necessary.  Currently, I am re-writing the Nudists of Shangri-La series and I have learned much since then and I can make it so much better.

The first in the series has already gained twenty thousand words and magic.  While the original text was more cut and dried, and to the point where Judy deals with her demons, now we are giving the demons a voice.

I like where it is going, and I am confident if you liked it the first time, you would love it this time.

My point to this blog is don’t give up.  If your passion is to write, write.  Don’t allow some jerk who writes reviews under a pseudonym to ruin your day or, worse yet, stifle your desire to write.

Many of you who follow me on this blog have your own blogs, and yes, I read many of them.  Some of you have such a gift for writing; you should be writing novels if you are not already.  Have a goal in mind and lay out the path to get there.

Much like planning a car trip, you have the goal, the destination in mind; now, how do you get there?  What does your GPS tell you?

 

Greetings Fellow Earthlings!

Are your books selling well?

 

I hope that this blog finds you all well.  If not, let me know, and I will put you in my prayers, or if you are against such things, I will send you good thoughts.

What is wrong with that sentence?

I genuinely do mean that I will pray for you but, I am appealing to the politically correct or those who don’t believe in a higher power.

You might have noticed that usually, I sign with ‘much love.’

If you are reading this blog or you have purchased one of my many novels, or perhaps you follow me on Twitter, we share a bond.

I can love you without being ‘in love’ with you if that makes sense.

Writers share a bond, and I feel like most of my followers are writers.

Currently, I am going through the process of looking at each of my novels ‘all 30 something of them’ and trying to figure out why some sell very well, and some don’t.   I have asked close friends to read those that are not selling well, and give me feedback.

To improve my craft, I have spent much time and money on programs, classes and yes seminars to see what I can learn that I don’t already know.

If you are a successful author, please comment below and send me a link to your books.

If nothing else, you will sell a book or two.

Do you realize how much of what we write must be perfect to sell?  Not only is the story critical, but the characters must be real.  Once you get a cohesive story with characters that people can relate to and ‘feel’, you have to create the perfect cover.

The brand that you assemble and sell to the world must be one that people will recognize and gravitate toward, before they even read the title.

If your pen name or brand brings people to your books, you are successful.  The cover art must be perfect.  As an artist, I have muddled my way through one cover after another.  I don’t have the luxury of hiring a focus group or think tank to assist in that process.  You probably don’t either.

There is a real benefit to fishing for an agent, a good one. They know the people and companies to contact for the perfect cover, and for the precise editing of said book.

In one of the groups I am associated with, I uploaded a complete novel for them to read, free of charge.  Just give me some feedback.

The novel has enjoyed medium success, but for the subject matter and the type of story, it should be much better.

Here is the truth of the matter, not one person has downloaded it and read it.

If I cannot give a novel away to other writers, how can I expect to sell it?

I challenged them with that question at the last meeting. ‘They don’t have time,’ was the answer.

Allow me to pontificate on what it takes to be a successful writer.

  • Read much and often.
  • Go out of your office and live your life.
  • Pay attention to everything and anyone.
  • Make notes of things and or people that might make fodder for a story.
  • Don’t steer away from controversial issues.

What I was hoping for is for them to read it, and offer some feedback.

From character development to the story itself, what did you like or not like, and why?

‘Why’ is the operative word.

Without ‘why,’ what they tell you is worthless.

One of my beta readers told me just tonight that there were a few ‘eww’ moments.

Ok, great, what are they, and why?

Feedback is critical to the process, and let me tell you, it is like pulling hen’s teeth.

Was that idiom lost on you?

As the weeks and months progress, I will be creating more blogs with helpful thoughts, notes and what have you, regarding writing.

If you have not followed me yet, why not?  Am I asking for money for these pearls of wisdom?  No.

Am I seeking free anything from anyone?  No

Am I trying to pay it forward and assist other writers…?  Yes!

With Christmas around the corner, we have time to write before the year ends, don’t waste it.

Much Love…-TW