Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to beat the Publishing Blues

Let's face it. This industry is hard. It starts the minute your fingers touch the keyboard to start your first book. You struggle with scenes and characters and setting and on and on. Then you finish with a feeling of accomplishment and relief. You send your baby off to get its first critiques. You're sure that it will come back with glowing reviews. People will think you're a literary genius. And then you start reading through those first few comments. They are riddled with suggestions about your character's lack of motivation, your plot holes, your grammar misuse. Every suggestion is as though someone is telling you your firstborn is not only ugly but will amount to nothing.

But you power through. You take the suggestions. You evaluate them. You edit. You make your book shiny and new and you start querying your new and improved baby. You say you'll be okay with rejections, but secretly you think yours is going to be the first book ever to get an agent without a single rejection letter. So when the letters start coming in (some as soon as 7 minutes later) you get discouraged. And this is only the beginning after you land the agent, publishers start rejecting you. Even when you are published, the critics are waiting.

So how do you stay positive in an industry that tries to beat you down at every turn?

1. Educate yourself. There are so many resources now for the amateur writer. They range from how to write a query to how to market yourself. Knowledge truly is power.

2. Surround yourself with writers. No one can know exactly the feelings you're going through unless they've been through them as well. Who better than to understand you and help you through it all than other writers? The blog world is full of amazing, supportive people. Get to know them.

3. Keep the right perspective. Nobody gets published overnight. Even the writer's who seem like they came from nowhere have a story to tell about the climb to publication. Remember that everything takes time and prepare to spend at least 3 years from the time you type the first word before you see your book on the shelf. And that's on the low end. If you are mentally prepared for the time it takes, the waiting doesn't seem so frustrating.

4. Keep practicing. While in the various stages of waiting, keep writing. It not only makes the time pass quicker, it also helps to develop your skills.

If you have tips on how to beat the publishing blues, feel free to share them.


  1. This is great Kasie! It's not just for the publishing blues, those tips all work for the writing blues as well. There are so many of us that just hit wall after wall. And your tips will help us to get past them all.

  2. Thanks for the pep talk, Kasie! When I first started writing, hearing that it might take three years to get my project published seemed so discouraging. Now three years sounds pretty quick!

  3. Great motivating speech. And I like the last piece of advice. Keep writing while your waiting.

  4. Wonderful advice and truths. What keeps me going is knowing that no matter where it all ends up, writing makes me a happier person. And that's the best kind of reward.



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