Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The book itself is enjoyable, as the author documents what occurred with a cynical dry humor; but the message of the book is priceless. Even the experts miss the boat sometimes. Even the Pros don’t always know what they’re talking about. So take rejection with a grain of salt …add a lime and some tequila… and keep pursuing your dream.
I’ve included some excerpts from “The Experts Speak.” Like some of the people mentioned below, you just might have what it takes… it would be a shame to give up just because you felt the sting of rejection. What would have happened if these people called it quits…
“I'm sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don't know how to use the English language.”
------Editor of the San Francisco Examiner, to Rudyard Kipling, 1889
“You'd better learn secretarial work or else get married.”
--------Emmeline Snively, to Marilyn Monroe, 1944
“An orgy of vulgar noise.”
--------Louis Spohr, on Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, 1808
“Far too noisy, my dear Mozart. Far too many notes.”
---------Emperor Ferdinand of Austria, on "The Marriage of Figaro", 1786
“You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck.”
---------Jim Denny, Manager of "Grand Ole Opry", to Elvis Presley, 1954
"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
---------H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.
"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary
---------Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."
“A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say
America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.”
---------Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields'
“Can't act. Can't sing. Balding. Can dance a little."
-------- M-G-M executive, reacting to Fred Astaire's screen test, 1928
"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
----------Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
This has been a difficult lesson for me. I used to take the opinions of my family and friends to heart, thinking if they didn't like something I had written then it wasn't any good. This internal tension escalated as I started to submit my work to Agents and Publishers and receive rejection notes.
No one likes a rejection note. It's like receiving a "Dear John" letter from your boyfriend right before Prom. "Great," you cry, "now I have a dress and no one who wants to take me to the dance." At that moment, as in your writing career, you have two choices: sit at home and sob, grow bitter and eventually end up being known as the scary cat-lady who lives alone at the end of the block - OR - put your pretty dress on and ask someone else to take you to Prom.
Before my first novel, No Easy Way, was published by Vanilla Heart, I received nearly 40 rejection letters. I also received 12 industry reviews that ripped my manuscript to shreds. If I told you I didn't cry I would be lying. I sat there on the floor with my pretty prom dress and debated quitting.
"Who are you to think you could be a published author?" Insecurity asked.
I shrugged and a tear fell. "Nobody I guess," was my answer.
"Why were you stupid enough to think you could beat the odds?" Inferiority taunted.
Another tear fell and the lump grew bigger in my throat.
“Your writing isn’t good enough!” Lack of Confidence spewed. “You’ll never be good enough.”
Somewhere between acknowledging my fears and wallowing in my failures, it hit me. What does “good” really mean? Until I could define that, I decided I wasn’t ready to quit.
I got off the floor that day and ended my pity-party. I studied every review and a made a list of their suggested changes to my manuscript. I re-read every rejection letter and jotted down any positive thing mentioned and any area of needed improvement. Then, I began my journey of re-writing with a goal to become “good” in the eyes of one agent or publisher who would be willing to take me to Prom.
Six months later, Vanilla Heart asked me to the dance and I excitedly accepted.
What I hope fellow writers will learn from my experience is that when someone rejects what you have written, it isn’t because you’re not “good”… it’s because they don’t like onions or 80’s music or think George Clooney is the end-all in sensual cravings.
Be “good” at not quitting… your invitation to Prom could be in the mail … so get your dress ready. ~
Nominated for the HODRW (Heart of Denver Romance Writers) Heart of Molly Award,
S.R.Claridge is grabbing the attention of both fellow writers and readers. She says her
background in theatre and psychology help her fill the pages with enough dramatic
suspense to keep readers guessing until the very end; and her life experience is what
weaves the underlying thread of hope throughout. S.R.Claridge says, “I want my readers to
feel they are right there with the characters and compel them not to give up because in life
there is no easy way, but we still have to press on.”
Like the characters in her novel, readers will find themselves unable to step away from the
story, as they will be hanging in a twisted balance of crossed lines and misunderstood
motives, all pointing to one simple truth … there is No Easy Way.
No Easy Way by S.R.Claridge is available on Amazon, B&N, OmniLit, Smashwords in
Ebook format and pre-order print edition, which will ship February 2011.
More information, video and free excerpt can be found on the publisher website: www.vanillaheartbooksandauthors.com/S.R.html
S.R.Claridge grew up in St.Louis, Missouri where she graduated from Lindbergh High School and furthered her education at the University of Missouri, Columbia with a Bachelors degree. She now lives in Broomfield, Colorado with her husband, two children and dog named Gigi. She is currently working on a series of suspense novels and is available for comment at 303-926-8877 or 913-488-4557 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing Tip #2: Send A Press Release.
Marketing Tip #3: Keep Your Website Updated.
Marketing Tip #4: Consider Guest Blogging.
Following only these 4 marketing tips will increase book sales.
“I thought you said this was romance,” she stated.
“Romantic Suspense,” I clarified.
“Is there one hero and one heroine and they live happily-ever-after?” She asked.
“Um…well…” I stuttered, “No.”
“Then it’s not Romance,” she stated flatly.
As our conversation progressed, I discovered I don’t write Romantic Suspense novels after all, I write Mystery novels.
So, to help you avoid the same embarrassing encounter I had during my one shot to impress an Agent, here is a breakdown of Genre with a detailed description of each. (I borrowed these descriptions from AgentQuery.com)
Chick lit describes its intended readership as much as its story’s content. Chick lit often has light-hearted, amusing tales of dating woes, career foibles, and personal antics as they relate to the problems of average female 20- & 30-somethings: finding the right career, the right man, and the right attitude. The stories are usually fun, down-to-earth, quirky, and entertaining—a good beach read.
Similar to romance, the central conflict of chick lit often includes love and relationships; however, unlike romance, it is rarely rooted in pure fantastical romantic gratification. Moreover, don't confuse chick lit with women’s fiction. Like chick lit, women’s fiction often explores similar themes related to women’s struggles with men, their friends and family, or their own sense of self. Unlike chick lit, women’s fiction often delves into deeper, more serious conflicts and utilizes a more poetic literary writing style. Over the past several years, the publishing industry has seen an over-saturation of the straight chick lit market. As a result, hybrid variations, such as chick lit/mystery, chick lit/paranormal, chick lit/suspense, chick lit/power girl, have quickly become the new pink within this genre.
At the HODRW conference this past weekend, an Agent spoke briefly on submissions. She asked how many in the room knew the proper way to format a manuscript for submission. We all raised our hands.
She smirked, “you’d be surprised how many writers think they know, but truly have no idea.”
Worse yet is the fact that some writers ignore the hard and fast rules because they think it will make their manuscript stand out from the rest. According to this Agent, anything not adhering to the basic formatting principles is thrown in the trash without even a glance at the first page.
Here are the unbreakable rules for manuscript format:
• The font must be 12 pt. and in either Times New Roman or Courier New
If you’re getting ready to submit to an Agent or Editor, give your manuscript another glance-over and make sure you have all these things in place. It could mean the difference between a spot on her desk and a straight shot to the trash. ~
The query serves two purposes: it tells the editor what you have to offer and asks if they are interested in seeing it. The query is your only chance to hook the editor on your novel, so take your time to write it well. If the editor finds your query compelling enough, he or she will request a synopsis, sample pages or the entire manuscript for further review.
Your goal in writing the query is not to brag on yourself, nor to negotiate contract terms... it is to HOOK your reader and make them want more. Though your query should be unique, and display your own style, there are some qualities every good query letter must contain:
* A "grabber" or hook sentence that makes the reader want to get her hands on the entire manuscript.
* One to three short paragraphs about your novel.
* A query letter should never exceed one typed page (formatted according to manuscript requirements of 1"margins, times new roman font, 10pt or 12pt)
* A brief paragraph about you and your publishing credentials.
* Why you're soliciting this Agent or Publisher as opposed to another.
* The length in word count of your novel.
* A sentence about your intended audience and/or a comparison to an author with a similar style.
* Include a SASE for all snail mail inquiries (otherwise you will not hear back from them)
Agents and Publishers are inundated with queries. More times than not, query letters don't make it beyond the desk of the publishing or agent assistant ... unless they are impressed. So take your time and write a query that counts.
Don't be leary of writing a query.... you CAN do it!!