I am bang, smack in the middle of rewriting (and I mean rewriting) my cosy mystery story. I received some exceedingly valuable feedback from an agent about this piece, and what it needs to reach a marketable point. Scary advice – but once I stopped sulking, and really looked it, I realised that she was right. The suggested changes will make a huge difference to the readability (and saleability) of the piece.
So now I’m in the middle of an anxiety-producing rewrite. I have no idea if I’m going to make the Easter deadline either. Having said that, it cheered me greatly to see a post from a fellow writer on a facebook writers group (of which I am a member). She said that it had taken her 18 months to (a) deal with the feedback, (b) redraft her story, and (c) finish the draft to a submittable level. Good to know that I’m not the only one paralysed by fear at the prospect of a rewrite. So, its onwards and upwards with that one.
And just to make my writers journey more challenging, I’ve finished the rewrite of my new junior grade fiction novel, prepared the pitching materials and synopsis, and am about to embark of the process of submitting it to various publishers. Expect that rejection widget to see some action over the next three months. Hey, you never know, I may actually get an acceptance/show of interest!.
I’m in the process of pitching three pieces (a cosy mystery, a children’s fiction and a non-fiction gift book) to various publishers and agents. I also hope to have a few short pieces ready to submit to various journals and publications in the near future. What does this mean? Well, I suspect that I’m going to see a heck of a lot of rejections. Time to celebrate! I learn a little something from each knock-back, and every one of them brings me a step closer to an acceptance.
So far I’ve received a total of 26 rejections. This has been over two years, and they are from a variety of sources, for six separate projects. This is pretty low in the scheme of things and is an indicator that I need to send more work out. To celebrate, I’m adding a widget to the front page – a counter to record the rejections of the work as they come in. I may even do some snazzy stats at the end of the year to really paint a picture. It’ll be a fun ride.
I’m taking the plunge and putting some work out there. Publishing is the goal for me. I’m looking for a nibble from either an agent or a publisher. I’d be happy with either, as the immediate aim is to move my work up to the next level. Let’s face facts: writers write, but authors publish.
In order to improve my chances, I recently attended a ‘how to pitch’ workshop with Writers Victoria (a really useful day!). I’ve also been reading any and all, articles and blogs from publishers, agents and other writers to glean what I can from their experiences.
As part of the process I have:
rewritten my pitch
prepared a nifty synopsis
updated my author bio
double checked my manuscript to make sure that it is at submission standard
made a list of places to apply to
checked their websites to determine what their individual requirements are
found out to whom to address my inquiry (check websites, annual reports and more importantly look at the ‘acknowledgement’ sections in similar books, you’ll find the publishing team members included)
drafted a cover letter/email
sent off three inquiries
Results so far: Two rejections. One outstanding. Sounds like a downer. But these have been different from previous rejections. Instead of standardised emails (or nothing at all), I’m receiving personalised ones – including one with actual advice (really!).
Keep checking and re-checking my application materials
Apply to another set of businesses
Remember that the rejection is not a rejection of my writing (I have enough independent feedback now to know that my writing is of industry standard)
Monitor the feedback – it may be a case of industry folk not being able to sell my work, at this point in time