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Sunday, November 01, 2009


Are You Determined To Get Published?

One of the common failures among writers is their lack of determination to get published. Many would-be authors are rejected a few times and give up on their manuscript instead of continuing to look for the right place.

Tap into the wisdom in James Scott Bell's article, Rejecting Rejection. It will lift your spirits and give you renewed determination.

This weekend, I was reading Entertainment Weekly. This story from Kate Ward about Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help caught my attention:

"Nearly 60 agents turned down Kathryn Stockett's debut novel before publisher Amy Einhorn picked it up in 2007. 'Those rejections lit a fire under my rear end,' says Stockett. 'I would say, "I've got to make it better.' Now those agents must be feeling some serious regret. Published in February, The Help, about a '60s-era Mississippian who's writing a book about African-American maids, now has 789,000 copies in print. Its steady word-of-mouth sales have kept it on the New York Times best-seller list longer than any other hardcover novel this year. Not bad for a novel whose first printing was just 57,300."

While I have not read The Help, I've heard plenty about it when my wife read it for her book club. Imagine the disappointed feelings that Kathryn Stockett must have felt when she received the different rejections from literary agents. Yet she was determined to get her novel into print. For a first-time novelist, Stockett has had a remarkable experience.

Almost two years ago at the Florida Writers Association, I met Roxanna P. Platt, a physician. Roxanna had written a romance called Intimately Betrayed. The book was excellent and I loved it and even represented it when I had my literary agency. When I joined Intermedia Publishing Group about a year ago, I closed my agency and became a publisher. Intimately Betrayed has just released in hardcover. I admire Roxanna's determination to get this book published and her enthusiasm to market and tell others about the book.

Writers conferences are a great place to meet editors and literary agents. This week I will be teaching at the Indianapolis Christian Writers Conference then in a few weeks, I'll be teaching a full day workshop in Denver. Here's the link to my speaking schedule. I hope to see some of you at these conferences. Years ago, I learned the truth behind the statement: it is who you know as much as what you know. Relationships are important in publishing like any other business. You can build those relationships during a writers conference.

Have you been kicked around and rejected a few times on your book project? What active steps are you taking today to change that situation and renew your own determination to get your manuscript into the hands of the right editor or literary agent?

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3 Comment:

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Kay Dew Shostak Left a note...

Hi Terry,
Wonder why the agents rejected Stockett? Was it not right for what they thought the market was? Bad subject with little interest in their opinions? Just wondering what it was. Of course, there probably wasn't an overall answer but it would be interesting to look in to, wouldn't it? Thanks for the article, hope and encouragement!

 
At 6:55 AM, Blogger J R Horton Left a note...

I wish you would put a "Forward" link on your blog entries so I could send them to friends.

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

JR,

I do add a forward link. Check out the little icon that says bookmark at the bottom of my post (added each time by hand). It allows you to email or forward the post to whoever you would like. It's why I put it on there so please use it.

Terry

 

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