Rejection, Reinvention & Do-Overs—What YOU Need to Know About E-Books

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Waaayyyy back in the Dark Ages of Publishing, I queried many, many…*sigh* many agents, only to be rejected. Then, I pitched a social media book for writers…and they laughed in my face. Social media is a fad. Authors only need a good book. Yup. Well, these are the same folks who are now requiring an author to have a strong social media platform and most won’t so much as look at a book if they can’t google an author’s name and have it show up (and show something vibrant and interesting).

Had it not been for the indie/e-book revolution, my first #1 best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, and my second #1 best-selling book Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer, and now my new best-selling book Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World would never have existed (let alone dominated the top three slots in multiple categories).

Thank you WANA and INDIE PUBLISHERS! *shout-out to Bob Mayer, Jen Talty & Cool Gus Publishing who took a chance on my first two books*

Aside from me (being a niche author), there were many traditionally authors who had extensive backlists (full of mega-successful books) who would have never made another dime off that work (and a lot are now making six and seven figures). There were also many authors who’d been rejected for years, who finally forged their own paths using e-books. Look up Romance Author Theresa Ragan. Theresa sold SO many books, that when NY came calling? She turned them down.

I wonder if she sent them a rejection letter with “does not fit my needs”? Hmmm, perhaps I should ask next time I see her :D.

There are also authors like John Locke who used e-book success to garner sweet publishing deals. Why am I mentioning this stuff? Because no matter what kind of author we are—traditional, indie, self-published? E-books are important. 

Yes, even if we traditionally publish. Right now NY can produce a book (maybe two) in a year. That’s a lifetime in the Digital World. What better way to keep fans excited than by publishing backstory, short stories, deleted scenes, stories involving supporting characters? This helps keep readers passionate so when your book is on the shelves? They are SO THERE.

Today, to talk about e-books and her own experience is Award-Winning Author (of TWENTY-SIX books) Amy Shojai…who happens to be a WANA International Instructor because I only want the best for you guys.

Take it away, Amy!

***

A few years ago, I had a high-profile agent, a spokesperson gig with a major pet products company, and a dozen award winning pet books published by “Noo Yawk” publishers. Oh, I worked my furry tail off for years to get there, but thought I’d finally arrived.

Before y’all decide to use my face on your personal dart board, you should know this: publishing went KER-FLOOEY!

I ended up back at square one. My agent couldn’t get a bite on any of my proposals. The spokesperson gig cancelled. My books got remaindered instead of renewed. All those backlist books, my retirement income (sob!), instead became dust bunny habitat under the bed.

Betcha you heard the booming echo of head-banging frustration where you lived. And you know what? “Noo Yawk” didn’t care. Tried a new agent and that didn’t work either. So I quit writing. I even took a real job . . .for about six months until I realized it doesn’t matter that “Noo Yawk” doesn’t care.

It only matters that I CARE.

Nobody cares more about YOU and your goals than YOU. So ya gotta be nice to you, treat you like royalty, and find ways to say “yes I can” instead of wallowing in “why I can’t.”

WHO ARE YOU, ANYWAY?

I am a writer. It’s not what I do, it’s who I am. But the “old Amy” no longer worked in the new world. Without an agent, I had nobody telling me “don’t bother, it won’t sell.” Without an editorial deadline, I had time to revise and update the latest, greatest information. And without that high-profile on-the-road gig, I could experiment with projects without concern it might hiss-off a sponsor.

So I reinvented myself first by kindle-izing my backlist books. That led to partnering with Jen Talty and Bob Mayer’s COOL GUS Publishing, creating my BLING, BITCHES & BLOOD blog (thank you Kristen!), voicing my own audio books, writing original titles and most recently a critically acclaimed dog-viewpoint THRILLERS WITH BITE series.

All because publishing went KER-FLOOEY. That’s a techie term. You have my permission to use it (I’m a writer, so I can make schtuff up).

BEYOND NaNoWriMo: KNOW YOUR OPTIONS

So, what does this have to do with you? Today there are fewer eyebrows raised toward hybrid/indie/self-pub authors than when I jumped off the digital cliff. The flood gates have opened.

Did you complete NaNoWriMo? Are you lined up at the starting gate, ready to pull the trigger on a spanking-new baby book?

Whether you plan to DIY Ebook, hire POD done, or choose a la carte services for cover design, publishing and more, LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES. Discover the options and make educated choices.

Because do-overs sucketh big time. This is why I am offering my:

EBOOK FOR WRITERS WEBINAR Dec. 7, 2-3:30 NY Time

Next Saturday, December 7, 2013, join my EBOOKS FOR WRITERS Webinar from 2-3:30 NY time for all the must-know options for publishing in today’s digital age. It’s only $40 (but you’ll get $10 off with the code GO INDIE). Register here.

No hotel, no travel, no makeup required! I love Webinars because I can wear jammies and have your cat or dog on my lap. The recording makes it possible to revisit the session later—especially helpful for those with a time conflict who live in, say, Australia. Or the wilds of Manhattan. And, if you aren’t yet ready to pull the trigger on your book, the session helps you figure out next steps when you ARE ready.

(Hint: Might be a cool early holiday gift for a writer in your life.)

The live Power Point presentation includes lots of SQUEEE! cute animal picture illustrations, answers your questions and gives you a life-preserver to keep you afloat as you dive off the self-publishing cliff. You will learn:
• Pros & Cons of Ebook Publishing compared to “Traditional”
• Options Available from DIY platforms to for-hire services
• Kinds of costs involved
• What you can (and should) do yourself
• What you should hire professionals to do
• Resources for helpful self-publishing software, editorial assistance and cover design help
• Practical step-by-step how-to “Kindle-ize” your manuscript
• Formatting tips for illustrations, covers, sidebars and table of contents
• Promotional must-knows including DO’s and DON’TS!
• Includes valuable links to further information, available as a down-load/handout.

I got to reinvent myself with help of others like Kristen Lamb who mentored me into creating a kick-ass BLING, BITCHES & BLOOD BLOG, so turn-about is fair play. Besides, it’s just the right thing to do. That’s one reason I jumped at the chance to guest here at Kristen’s amazing blog site. Good karma gets returned so find ways to pay-it-forward, let others know about the seminar (and discount code GO INDIE). You can thank me later ;).

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  1. #1 by Peter Wells aka Countingducks on December 4, 2013 - 6:46 am

    Heart-warming story

  2. #2 by Amy Shojai, CABC on December 4, 2013 - 8:37 am

    Thanks for the opportunity to guest blog, Kristen. I always have a blast at the Webinars and can’t wait!

  3. #3 by symplysilent on December 4, 2013 - 10:40 am

    Kristen – you are so full of energy and I am still trying to wake up. I can just see you dashing around with the long slipper ears still flopping around. Thank you – Silent

  4. #4 by tam francis on December 4, 2013 - 10:52 am

    Amy: Very inspirational post. I am so close to jumping off the fence. I have to ask is there NOTHING you would recommend about the agent route?

    Kristen: LOVE this: “What better way to keep fans excited than by publishing backstory, short stories, deleted scenes, stories involving supporting characters?” It’s nothing I had thought of, but I love this idea and it solves some dilemmas I had about editing out certain scenes. This is VERY freeing. Thank you!!!!! You’ve given me a tremendous gift this morning.

  5. #5 by Gale Albright on December 4, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Visions and Revisions and commented:
    Now that we’re in post-NaNo December, here’s a blog from Kristen Lamb about rejections and stuff.

  6. #6 by ronnie c on December 4, 2013 - 12:44 pm

    Thanks for helping me deal with my 1st rejection!!! I was devastated but other authors I know told me to try again, so I am.

  7. #7 by projectechoshadow on December 4, 2013 - 12:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Echoshadow.

  8. #8 by dunjav2013 on December 4, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    Reblogged this on dunjav.

  9. #9 by digigirl on December 4, 2013 - 3:22 pm

    Hey, trying to register for the webinar and it says code is invalid (I tried it with and without the space in between)!

    • #10 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 4, 2013 - 6:41 pm

      Will get it fixed.

    • #12 by Jay Donovan on December 4, 2013 - 6:45 pm

      The code is supposed to be “Go-Indie”. I suspect WordPress ate the “-” when Kristen wrote it. :)

      *edited to add* And I created a “Go Indie” code so both now work. ;)

      -Jay
      @jaytechdad

  10. #13 by Dormaine G on December 4, 2013 - 10:45 pm

    Kristen and Amy thank you for much for this story it was heart felt. I especially loved it when you said “It only matters that I CARE” If you don’t care then no one will. Very uplifting.

  11. #14 by Jill - Barefoot Editing on December 4, 2013 - 11:30 pm

    Reblogged this on The Wandering Barefoot Editor and commented:
    If you are on the fence about eBooks and want to learn more, there is a webinar coming up with some good information…

  12. #15 by Denise Wyant on December 5, 2013 - 6:32 am

    Reblogged this on Rantings of a Closet Vamp Princess and commented:
    Writers: more excellent info! Be sure to check out this post!

  13. #16 by Katie Cross on December 5, 2013 - 8:13 am

    Sounds like an awesome offer with lots of great info. Thanks for the great post. I didn’t love the ebook idea, but now that I’ve been actually reading them and investing them, I’ve learned a lot about how I want to do my own ebook, and I’m actually a believer in them overall.

    At this point, they aren’t going to go away, so we’ll just need to work with what we’ve got!

  14. #17 by Julie Glover on December 6, 2013 - 7:43 pm

    Amy, I’m thrilled you went to ebook yourself! As you know, I’m absolutely in love with your multi-cat household book. (Not that anyone else cares, but the “box-challenged cat” hasn’t, um, “misbehaved” in several days! :) ) Authors definitely need to know the ins and outs of ebooks, because even people like me who still love flipping real pages rely on ereaders as well.

  15. #18 by Raani York on December 9, 2013 - 4:15 pm

    Very nice story. I loved it!

  1. » The OutRamp Guide to Writing: Episode #12 - The OutRamp
  2. Rejection, Reinvention & Do-Overs—Wha...
  3. » The OutRamp Guide to Self-Publishing: Episode #6 - The OutRamp
  4. » The OutRamp Writer’s Wroundup Newsletter #3: December 2 – 8, 2013 - The OutRamp

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