Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

News, trends, and the future of publishing
tameson
Posts: 66
Joined: January 19th, 2010, 7:34 pm
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by tameson » January 28th, 2010, 2:12 pm

http://www.annemini.com/?p=8393

Author!Author! has been doing a series on publishing and this article looks at smaller publishing houses. Supposedly tomorrow we'll be getting self pubbing, so that should be interesting.

Here is link to self pubbing article. It makes a good point over control of things like cover, which have been discussed recently in the mainstream publishing world with the whole Bloomsburg controversy.

http://www.annemini.com/?p=8391

lexcade
Posts: 107
Joined: January 2nd, 2010, 12:57 am
Location: northern ky/cincinnati
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by lexcade » January 31st, 2010, 5:27 pm

whiskey.

then more writing.

then possibly more whiskey, depending.

and more writing. the people in my head won't shut up.
"Art imitates nature as well as it can, as a pupil follows his master; thus it is sort of a grandchild of God." ~~Dante

SarahEMC2
Posts: 11
Joined: February 4th, 2010, 9:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by SarahEMC2 » February 5th, 2010, 6:40 pm

My contingency plan: short form.

I've had good luck placing short stories and essays in some pretty good journals, places where I'm proud that my work has appeared. It pays nothing or--if I'm really lucky--next to nothing, but that's okay for now. And, frankly, there is a great feeling to having a piece published and, therefore, off my computer and out of my list of things to revise. I never feel like anything is really *done* until it's out of my hands and on the page, and the feeling of completion is the real pay off.

Elizabeth Poole
Posts: 21
Joined: February 6th, 2010, 10:46 am
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by Elizabeth Poole » February 6th, 2010, 12:12 pm

Interesting post.

I don’t have a backup plan. I never considered the idea that I might not get published.

I am sure that sounds naïve, and I don’t mean that I am free of self-doubt and discouragement (I have more than my share if you ask me), but it’s never occurred to me that I won’t someday, even if it’s years from now, get published.

I have read many books, blogs, and forums about writing. I have been writing my entire life, and have plenty of “trunk” novels, either half finished or discarded. So I know how it goes. I know the odds, like Vio stated in his previous post. Nathan made an excellent observation in his hilarious post, “It’s Not You, It’s the Odds (And the Resonance Factor)”: Here's an analogy sure to brighten the mood of the unpublished: writing a book is kind of like spending a year creating a lottery ticket. Sunny days, people! Sunny days!”

So it’s not that I have ignored the odds. It’s not that I think I am the next INSERT GENIUS AUTHOR NAME HERE, but I know, deep down inside myself (and depending on the writing that day, sometimes it’s WAAAAAAY down in there) that writing is what I am meant to do. I love writing; I have always wanted to be an author. I have been writing since I knew how. I tell stories out loud, I was nick-named “Babbles” by my family. They knew better than to interrupt a story of mine when I was little, even if it was about my trip to the mailbox, because if they did, I would start over from the beginning. I wrote books when I was in grade school before being published was ever a thought, and I will continue to write even if I get ten thousand rejections. I just have this unshakable core belief that I will someday get published. I always have, just as I have always wanted to write.

I would like to propose something. Pretend that you ARE going to get published. Lie to yourself, imagine interviews on Letterman, bribe yourself with a vacation when you get that publishing contract, whatever you have to do to make yourself believe, deep inside, that you WILL be a published author someday. Have an unshakable belief in yourself. KNOW that you will make it, someday.

Let this optimism be your rock, your courage. We all have it. It took courage to write a novel, however terrible and dull your first attempts may have been (mine were dreadful). It took courage to edit that book until your eyeballs bled, and you wanted to chuck the book out the window. It takes courage to query an agent (and borderline arrogance to say to an agent, “Hey, Nathan, so I’ve been working on this thing for X number of years, and I thought you’d like it”).

The way I see it, you have enough negativity out there waiting to steal your confidence. There’s all sorts of obstacles, both great and small: unsupportive family members and coworkers, unfulfilling job, your own worries and self doubts, aptly called the “Am I crazies?” on Nathan’s blog. Why join the ranks? Why be the first one to throw in the towel? Why not pretend (you’re good at that if you’re a writer) that you’re going to get published, even if the odds are against you?

I believe that if you want it bad enough, if you spend your free time working on novels, learning the craft, teaching yourself about the industry by reading forums like these, eventually that hard work and stubbornness will pay off.

Just as the odds are against you in getting published, so are they with you if you apply yourself to writing for years. If you really spend years honing your skill writing, rewriting, reading, and learning, you will naturally become a better writer, and someone is bound to notice after all that time and hard work.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t be realistic about the odds, or that those who chose to self publish are taking the easy way out, or you shouldn’t have a plan B. Ultimately you need to do what you are comfortable with. Some people need to have a back up plan, and a back up plan for that back up plan (normally I am one of those types of people, but my writing plan has always included “get published”). I understand the need to have a Plan, in case Things Go Awry.

And if you are starting to hate your novel, the process, yourself, because of frustration and rejection, maybe you at least need a break. But I believe that if you work hard, and apply yourself, the odds will turn in your favor. Again, not a guarantee, but you’re already better off than a lot of other writers.

While getting published would be nice, I also think you should ask yourself why bother? Why bother when you could be doing so many other things with your spare time? If your answer is anything resembling “Because I love to write” than you’ll probably keep writing even if you never get published. Publishing is a nice goal to strive for, but I am also trying to be happy with each part of the process. Right now I am in the unpublished part of the writing process, and it’s pretty fun. Try to be happy with each stage of writing, and you might feel less panic when you think about publishing and the long odds thereof.

So I guess my rejection contingency plan is to keep trying until I get published.
Proud owner of a Plot Wolverine

http://writerelizabethpoole.blogspot.com/

Mimi Hawthorne
Posts: 1
Joined: February 7th, 2010, 4:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by Mimi Hawthorne » February 7th, 2010, 4:52 pm

Interesting question. I look at it this way. My sister paints watercolors and doesn't worry about having an art show. My brother plays the banjo and doesn't worry about being a country music star. I write and don't worry about the Pulitzer. I write because I have stories I want to tell. I can't NOT write. For all three of us, it is art for the love of it. It enriches our lives, unclutters our heads, soothes our hearts.

So I embrace the writing and know success will come, though it may not be the kind of success one might expect. Because if I looked at the odds of the kind of rejection you're talking about, I would just cry. Better to focus on the art. Focus on the story. Focus on the journey.

User avatar
taylormillgirl
Posts: 138
Joined: December 28th, 2009, 9:02 am
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by taylormillgirl » February 7th, 2010, 5:04 pm

Mimi Hawthorne wrote:Interesting question. I look at it this way. My sister paints watercolors and doesn't worry about having an art show. My brother plays the banjo and doesn't worry about being a country music star. I write and don't worry about the Pulitzer. I write because I have stories I want to tell. I can't NOT write. For all three of us, it is art for the love of it. It enriches our lives, unclutters our heads, soothes our hearts.

So I embrace the writing and know success will come, though it may not be the kind of success one might expect. Because if I looked at the odds of the kind of rejection you're talking about, I would just cry. Better to focus on the art. Focus on the story. Focus on the journey.
I'm glad you mentioned art and music. When your sister finishes a watercolor, she probably likes to show it to others or display it in her home. I imagine your brother enjoys playing the banjo alongside other musicians. As a writer, I think it's natural for us to want to share what we've worked so hard to create. For me, keeping this manuscript in a drawer would be like a sculptor wrapping his creation in a hefty bag and hiding it in the basement. That's why I intend to put my work out there regardless of whether or not it sells.
Author of hot & humorous romances, debut novel coming in 2012 from Sourcebooks!
http://macybeckett.com/

User avatar
JustineDell
Posts: 293
Joined: January 15th, 2010, 11:38 am
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by JustineDell » February 7th, 2010, 9:20 pm

Jaime wrote:
JustineDell wrote:Self-pub and vanity press are equal in my mind. The way that I look at it is this, if an editor or agent doesn't feel your story is good enough to publish, then it shouldn't be published. I have yet to hear of a vanity published book or a self-published book that has went on to be a best-seller with movie writes and all that biz. Correct me if I am wrong though. It's one of those things that just aren't for me. I have a need to feel as though my book was good enough to be published and only an agent or editor can fill that void for me.
One name for you: Matthew Reilly.

"He wrote Contest while just 19 and self-published it in 1996, deliberately aiming to have his book noticed by publishers who talent-scout at bookstores. His dedication paid off, and was discovered by Pan Macmillan's then commissioning editor Cate Paterson. His first industry-produced novel, Ice Station, proved so monumentally popular, that it had to be reprinted six times in its first two years."

He was rejected by literary agents and publishers here in Australia, so opted to self-publish. After being 'discovered', and now having sold over four millions copies of his series, I would say that self-publishing certainly isn't an option I would turn my back on. It definitely has the potential to open doors.

Source:
http://www.matthewreilly.com/authorbio.html

Good point, but this doesn't happen everyday and someone doesn't need to go into self-pub thinking this is going to happen to them. It's a long shot to say the least. Elvis Presley got laughed at in Nashville, but finally found the one person who liked his music. That's what authors need to do - find that one person. Sure, it takes time and there are tons of people who never find that one person, but maybe that's the way it was supposed to be. Self-pub is not good in my book. Never was, never will be.

http://www.justine-dell.blogspot.com/

"Three things in life that, once gone, never return; Time, Words, & Opportunity"

Nick
Posts: 236
Joined: December 10th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by Nick » February 8th, 2010, 9:22 pm

Plan A: Keep writing and keep submitting.

And that's it actually. Even if I'm always rejected every time, I'm not going to stop writing. Storytelling may as well be the only piece of my DNA. But that's about it I suppose. Maybe do some self e-publishing or something. I guess we'll see if/when the time comes.
JustineDell wrote: I have yet to hear of a vanity published book or a self-published book that has went on to be a best-seller with movie writes and all that biz. Correct me if I am wrong though.
Eragon: Originally published by Paolini's parents' small company. Eventually caught the eye of a journalist who convinced a major publisher to print it. Went on to sell loads of copies. Spawned a crappy movie and several high-earning continuation novels. From what I can tell the man is living comfortably using only money earned from his books. It definitely does happen...it's just in very, very rare cases that it does. But oh how wonderful it must be to be that rare case.

namrata
Posts: 2
Joined: February 8th, 2010, 1:45 am
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by namrata » February 10th, 2010, 6:28 am

I’ll never give up even if I get tons of rejections. Because I believe one day or other my novel is going to get published. And I just have to wait upto the correct time for it. I happen to live in India, which has a history of a Bengali novella ‘Debdas’, written in 1901 and published in 1917. And still today it’s a blockbuster. Thanks to the author, Sharat Chandra Chatterji for keeping it safe for sixteen years till it gets published.

There’s really no harm in keeping it in the drawer. Maybe in the future someone will discover it, and publish it as a relic.

matildamcc
Posts: 22
Joined: January 12th, 2010, 3:41 pm
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by matildamcc » February 10th, 2010, 2:26 pm

My rejection contingency plan is usually to start a new novel. Once I start writing the new novel, I'm surprised how much better it is than the one I just put in the drawer. If I feel in my gut I've really given the ms a fighting chance (queried 70-100 agents, had beta readers critique it etc etc) and it's been rejected, then I usually think about starting a new project. I have noticed that for each new project, I have received more positive feedback, ie I rec'd requests for fulls on my last project, which I hadn't for previous mss.

User avatar
Brian_H
Posts: 26
Joined: February 2nd, 2010, 10:59 am
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by Brian_H » February 10th, 2010, 7:14 pm

I probably do not fit in with the majority of serious writers replying to your question. I never had a burning desire to become published. For me, writing the story was the fun part. I write because I love writing, not to make a living at it. I understand that anyone who plans to make a living writing stories does not have that luxury, and that my approach puts me in the minority, but I wanted throw my two cents in regarding self-publishing. I've seen people posting here on both sides of the argument and I thought I'd chime in too.

Understanding where I'm coming from now, I'd like to tell you that the decision to self publish was by far the best thing I ever did.
After my second book was finished, I decided that I wanted to see what my first one would look like as a real novel. I had it published on a popular webiste and was suprised at how easy and painless it was. I ordered a few copies, and when I got them I gave them to a few friends and my family. I wasn't trying to begin a new career, or sell a million copies. I thought I was finished writing, having put my ideas down, and I wanted to share them with people who had a genuine interest in my work; nothing more.

But what happened next was really cool. They gave their copies to their friends, and bought some for Christmans presents. Those friends bought some more, and so on and so on. Pretty soon, I was getting emails from people I'd never met, asking if I had any more books. I cannot even describe how that made me feel.

I've not sold even 100 copies of my book. I haven't released my second book because I haven't made a cover for it yet. Nevertheless, I am rejuvinated, and will probably end up writing twenty more books off the high I got from that first email from a stranger.

I saw a few comments regarding how your self-published works might reflect poorly on you once you've made your entrance into the real world of publishing. I'm not sure I agree with that. I read a lot of Stephen King. Some of his books I would classify as really bad, but I still buy the next one because he's had some I enjoyed thouroughly. I don't think anyone that enjoys your work will drop you from their reading list because you have one or two bad works floating around. I bet every author has a few books they'd like to erase from their past.
It always seems impossible until it's done.

User avatar
Vegas Linda Lou
Posts: 10
Joined: January 25th, 2010, 2:29 pm
Location: Las Vegas
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by Vegas Linda Lou » February 10th, 2010, 8:06 pm

Brian, I enjoyed your post right up to the last paragraph. It seems like you're equating self-published books with poor quality, which is probably a safe bet if the author has not bothered to have his or her work professionally edited. But keep in mind that some of us have made every effort to meet the standards of traditional publishers.

Best of luck to you! At 100 books, you've already exceeded the sales of most self-published authors.
Linda Lou
Author, Bastard Husband: A Love Story
http://www.vegaslindalou.com

Nick
Posts: 236
Joined: December 10th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by Nick » February 10th, 2010, 8:22 pm

Brian, while I agree that every author who has been published has one or two pieces of garbage floating around, the "stigma" against self-publishing comes from the fact that self-publishing, a lot of times, is rubbish. Not to say your book isn't good. I'm certain it is, especially given the way things are going for you, and I hope they keep going that way. But there are self-published works which are either good stories which simply haven't been edited to a point of actually being good, or they're so rubbish no one wanted them, and the author decided to go and self-publish as an "I'll show them" sort of thing. With no-cost e-self-publishing venues and low-cost self-publishing/publish-on-demand becoming more common, there will be an increase in self-published works, and with that there will be a lot of great things out there. I recall reading an article by a guy named Bryan Gilmer about his own experiences self-publishing to Kindle. The book sold very well, has been expanded to paperback publish-on-demand, and mostly has very good reviews, and all of it is done via self-pubbing to Amazon. And of course, there's your story. But stories like that are the rarities I think. Self-publishing isn't necessarily largely crap, but there is a lot of crap creating clutter, and a lot of what's good goes largely unnoticed.

Still, I wish you success with your career, whichever direction you opt to travel in.

User avatar
PoppysInARow
Posts: 11
Joined: February 13th, 2010, 1:04 am
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by PoppysInARow » February 13th, 2010, 7:13 pm

My plan? Publish a novel. Then, publish a better novel. And then a better one.

Rinse and repeat.
Insert Witty Signature Here.

User avatar
shadow
Posts: 302
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 5:06 pm
Location: The moon
Contact:

Re: Do you have a rejection contingency plan?

Post by shadow » February 23rd, 2010, 3:49 pm

I am just keeping my fingers crossed. I don't know what I would do if it doesn't get published :O! Yikes I know lol.
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

ImageImageImageImage

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests