You don’t need permission to create – part 4

Rejection is not good for your state of mind or your creativity.

I consider that rejection is what occurs when you don’t set your expectations properly.  When you have unrealistic expectations, you will set yourself up for rejection constantly. Your jobs won’t work out, your career plans won’t work out, and your books won’t get published.

Almost all of us remember exploring the dating scene at one time or other and getting rejections that shattered our self-esteem. Usually we discovered that we were trying to establish a relationship without taking the first steps of getting in communication with the other person.

People new to sales run into the same kind of rejection, because they try to close without really having a conversation with the customer. Salespeople who care about their customers rarely experience rejection.

Authors invite rejection by sending material to publishers who have no interest in their type of story. Even self-published authors can fall into this trap by trying to mass-market their book without finding out where their audience is and what that audience wants.

Dan Poynter and John Harnish make a good case for marketing your book before you write it. If you have done enough market research, informal or not, you will have a good idea what people need and are willing to pay for. This seems to work in the case of romance novels, but your book may just be a clone of a thousand other novels. That’s not my idea of writing. It feels too much like work!

Try this instead:

1. Find something YOU want to write about.
2. Learn all you can about the subject, the size of the audience, where the books can be sold, and how many books have been written recently on the subject.
3.  Find out who wants and needs your book and what they are willing to pay for it. This takes work, but every bit of information you acquire puts you in a stronger position when it comes to getting your book published.

By the time you are finished, you will have a good idea of your chances of making money publishing this book. At this point you will be ready to decide whether to go POD, self-publish, or go the traditional route through Cousin Andrew who is a senior editor at Harper.

If you understand the odds against success as a new author and choose
to seek out an agent who will get you published, you might be fully
prepared for the length of time it will take you to get published. If
you have set your expectations properly, you will probably hang in
there long enough to get published, even if it takes many years.

It doesn’t matter which route you choose, the important thing is to proceed logically so your expectations stay realistic all through the process.

This is where you should read Dan Poynter’s Self Publishing Manual again and again, because he does a marvelous job of advising you without crushing your spirit. The same applies to John F. Harnish and his book on POD.

I want you to write and be published. The way to do this is to proceed at your own pace and avoid situations where you will face unnecessary rejection. We know that there is no shortage of shelf space on the Internet or at Amazon.com, so your first barrier to overcome is to get your book published. I think you will be able to do that.

All you require after that is a killer marketing campaign, which you may not have money for, or an understanding of viral marketing and how you can use it to get your book into the hands of as many readers as possible.

I can’t give you expert advice on that yet, but I can share some interesting experiences with Danger Quicksand – Have A Nice Day. I’ll cover them in a future post.

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0 Responses to You don’t need permission to create – part 4

  1. Zuleme says:

    Another thoughtful post, David. I am making progress towards the blog set up, while keeping up with work and enjoying spring. I also plan to put my entire children’s novel on line and mp3’s of my music.

  2. vikk says:

    Great post. . . again. What I like most about this series is the primary emphasis you put on writing first. Learning how to write, discovering what topics interest you, finding the form that best suits your writing intentions, and discovering and understanding your audience are all essential in the building of a successful writing career whether you’re a blogger, an essayist, or a budding novelist. Even generalists must find their audiences.

    Yous say: “Authors invite rejection by sending material to publishers who have no interest in their type of story. Even self-published authors can fall into this trap by trying to mass-market their book without finding out where their audience is and what that audience wants.”

    I run into this every day and not just with new writers. I’m amazed at how the need to publish so overwhelms people that they rush headlong into the rejection pool and then wonder how they ended up all wet.

    This is a great series. I’m coming back daily to read more.

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