Dealing with Writing Rejection Without Rejecting Yourself
What Your Author Website Really Needs
As a human, I’ve made my peace with death and taxes. But as a writer, I sometimes struggle against something just as inevitable: Rejection.
I suspect you fear it, too.
Rejection is unavoidable for writers. Trying to hide from it is like looking for love and leaving no space for missed connections. It’s like not wanting to age. The only real alternative to aging is death. The alternative to facing rejection is not writing.
How Do We Give a Story Life?
There’s a lot of overthinking and overspending that happens with author websites. Do you need to spend multiple thousands of dollars on your online home? For most writers, the answer is no. A small investment, good copy and mastery of a few basics will give you a professional looking author website that will help you attract and retain readers.
Here are the basics to concentrate on.
Our Free Mindset Mini-Course for Authors has Launched!
As a writer, you can probably relate to a recent struggle I had over how to give my story a sense of life.
I was clinging to the idea that my work-in-progress needed to be inspired and that I needed to write the story in a state of flow for it to have artistic value. I had fallen into the gooey thinking that crafting a story with obligatory scenes, genre conventions, core events, controlling ideas, themes, and measured arcs is unromantic and a risky wager against the few hours I have each week for my creative work.
I lost faith in the story I started writing while the publishing deadline still loomed over me like a dragon ready to swallow me whole.
What should we do if we start writing a story and lose our inspiration? If we’re on deadline for a paycheck or our reputation? What do we do if we are staring at a blinking cursor that looks more like a warning light for impending radioactive doom?
Exciting new programs and dates coming at you!
We're storytellers. We write books that plunge readers straight into other worlds and other lives. It’s a super power.
But doesn’t it suck when we use our own story telling abilities against ourselves?
In our first session of the Mindset Mini-Course we talk about how writers have a hard time realizing that their negative internal chatter is complete fiction and look at how we can rewrite the story of our own careers by starting at the end.
How to Write a Back Cover Blurb for Nonfiction
We've got some CRAZY exciting stuff coming your way in the next several months that we're excited to share with you...
Let's do this in chronological order, shall we? (Because I couldn't possibly choose a favorite.)
Two Podcasts Writers Shouldn't Miss
Are you ready to write the book description for your back cover—your blurb—for a book of nonfiction but don't know where to start? Have you started writing your blurb and gotten stuck? Are you even sure you know what a back cover blurb is, what it's supposed to do for you?
The back cover blurb is probably the last thing you want to write and potentially the most difficult to create. But it is likely your best marketing tool. The pressure is on you to get it right so that sales will follow.
But writing a back cover blurb doesn't have to be hard if you understand your aim.
I know the feelings associated with writing a blurb under pressure. I've been there, a
A Peek Inside Our Group Coaching Program
Here’s some summer listening that that will enrich your writing life…
How to Write a Back Cover Blurb for Fiction
If you feel at a loss about how to market your book, or just unmotivated to do it—this group coaching program is for you.
We’ll spend eight weeks finding the right audience for you and your book and setting it up so you’ll be able to reach that audience whenever you want.
The program consists of seven group coaching sessions plus one private coaching session with me.
I just wanted to take a few minutes today to go over what we're going to be covering in each session to help you figure out if this is the right program for you right now.
The Ridiculously Simple 3-Step Method That Sells Books
Are you ready to write the book description for your back cover—your blurb—for a book of fiction but don't know where to start? Have you started writing your blurb and gotten stuck? Are you even sure you know what a back cover blurb is, what it's supposed to do for you?
The back cover blurb is probably the last thing you want to write and potentially the most difficult to conceptualize, but it is likely your best marketing tool. The pressure is on you to get it right so that sales will follow. But writing a back cover blurb doesn't have to be hard. You just need to fully understand what you're aiming for.
Do You Really Need a Book as a Business Card?
If you do a google search on book marketing, you’ll get a staggering array of tactics that makes selling books look extremely complicated and time consuming. Some of it is bullshit. Some of it is woefully incomplete. Most of it misses the big picture.
I won’t tell you that selling books is easy. Some people will find the process easy and others will struggle.
But I will tell you that it’s actually simple. And if you can wrap your mind around the fundamentals, it will help your efforts immensely because you’ll immediately see what you are and aren’t doing when it comes to selling your book.
Almost all writers who sell a lot of books are do these three things. Writers who don’t sell books aren’t doing these things. Simple.
Why you should start marketing well before your book is out
We've all heard some know-it-all business expert say something like, "The book is the modern-day business card. Write one to grow your profits." Yet Amazon is flooded with forgettable books that entrepreneurs put considerable time, effort, and money into that aren't producing returns. Check the lack of reviews on most of these books, and you'll see what I mean. It's no surprise, is it? Most people hate business cards.
What Does it Really Take to Be an Author?
If you’re like most authors, you’re probably not super excited about marketing. It’s unknown. It’s scary. It might make you feel sleazy.
But you’re likely resigned to the idea that you’ll have to do it at some point. You just hope to delay that point as long as possible.
Maybe, if you wait, your publisher will wave a magic wand and you’ll be on the Today Show and Terry Gross without any grunt work on your part and NYT bestseller list here you come!
Here comes the tough love…
How an Outline Can Pull You Out of the Metaphorical Mud
Many, many people harbor secret dreams of writing a great book and finding recognition and success as an author.
And yet, many of those same people won’t even cop to being a writer when you ask them. And I know, I talk to lots writers.
My editing colleagues and I go to packed writers conferences and ask everyone we talk to, “Are you a writer?” You wouldn’t believe the amount of “Well…sorta,” responses we get.
How on earth are these people going to get from wanting to be a writer to actually writing and then to building an audience and putting a book into the world?
How to Prioritize Your Book Marketing Efforts
Sometimes I get stuck in the writing process. At first, it's just some metaphorical mud I must trudge through. Then, it seems that I've stepped in a big pile of poo that ruins my favorite boots. Then it's quicksand pulling me under; I'm going to die.
When I get to this place, and I remember to take a deep breath, it's clear I need to step back and either consult my outline or, if I haven't already, I need to create one.
The outline is one of my favorite writing tools.
The Problem With Most Writing Groups...
One the questions I get most frequently from authors is this: “There are so many possible marketing and outreach activities, how do I decide which to do?”
It’s an especially important question given that most authors would like to spend as little time and money on their marketing efforts as possible.
My favorite trick for deciding on how to wisely spend your marketing resources involves nothing fancier than a paper and pen.
Reducing the Struggle: Tips for Your First Draft
There's a big problem with most writing groups.
They don't actually help people become better writers.
That's not to say these groups aren't well intentioned -- but sitting around letting a group of people correct your punctuation and criticize your words choices on an early draft is a waste of time.
If you want to write the best book possible, first and foremost you need a strong story foundation. And, sadly, most critique groups just won't get you there.
But, that's not to say you should throw out the idea of a writing group altogether.
The Pages & Platforms Podcast - Episode 1: Step One to Launching Your Book
We’ve all heard of the stereotypical drunk and depressed writer as an ill-romanticized icon. Writers are taught that struggle is inherent to the job. We expect to “bleed on the page” to complete a publishable manuscript. But what if extended periods, effort, and pain are negotiable, possible to mitigate? What if finishing that first draft could be simple, if not easy?
While editing and re-writes are required after a first draft, I have some tips and tricks that will help you overcome the blocks of a first draft (and move onto your second draft) by clearing a path toward a great story that have assisted many of my editing clients through what would otherwise be some pretty dark times. Sure, these tips and tricks might not work for everyone, but if you’re stuck, what have you got to lose?
Writing Worthwhile Secondary Characters
We’ve launched a podcast! We’ll talking book launches and editing (heavy on the book launches) as we do a real-time case study of the launch of my middle grade novel The Cat, the Cash, the Leap, and the List. Along the way, we’ll be talking to a variety of writers and be joined by the Pages and Platforms editors to talk about how to write a compelling story and what it takes to get it an audience.
What Type of Editor Do You Need?
How well do you know your secondary and tertiary characters?
A common early-draft issue is minor characters who act as mere props for the protagonist’s arc. Need a crisis for a main character? Subject a secondary character to an accident or illness. Need a contrast to your heroine? Pick a few top-of-mind traits (the nerd, the bully, the class clown), assign them to a body in the scene, and designate the body “Sidekick.”
And that’s okay. Your creative mind is giving you placeholders so you can get the heart of your story onto the page.
But when it’s time to revise, it’s your job to interrogate every one of those minor characters; to replace clichés with original ideas; to be sure that everybody in the whole story is tightly bound to your theme and plot.
If you’re confused about the different types of editors (which to hire and when), rest assured that you’re not alone.
For example, writers often confuse line editing with copyediting or proofreading since all three types of editors focus detailed attention on the use of language and involve "marking-up" a manuscript. But they are different processes, requiring different professional skill sets, and should occur at very different times during the writing process. Most beginning writers haven’t even heard of a developmental editor and mistakenly think they’re ready to pitch to an acquisitions editor as soon as they finish their first draft.
Uh oh. That’s a sure fire way to close some doors on their writing career.