A Cautionary tale of seeking endorsements. . .

 

 

We’ve all gotten those types of responses; the ones that make us go. . . HUH?!?

In the course of seeking endorsements for my debut release last year, I heard a lot of “I would love to, really, but I’ve got all these crazy deadlines. . .” and “Sorry, but my publisher/agent is really choosy about who they’ll let me endorse. All the best!”, but there was one response that I never saw coming; one that made me stop and go:

Wait. . . WHAT!?!?!

 

“I hope you don’t take this the wrong way – I feel that your story isn’t quite ready for publication. I hope your publisher has provided you with a good editor, but if they haven’t, you should invest in hiring one. Having a trained editor’s opinion can make a world of difference in the quality of your writing.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask! I have been helped by some of the best authors in the business in my publishing journey, and I’m always willing to provide the same for others.”

 

Is it just me or does that sound like an advertisement – wrapped up in a dig, hidden behind an apology?

 

The good news: I am now immune to such nonsense.

I might not be. . . except that:

  • I have been published—quite successfully—under a pen name for years!
  • When I handed this manuscript to the woman who, at that time (God rest her soul), was considered THE agent for Amish fiction, one of the first things she asked was who handled my editing, because it was “flawless”.
  • When I sent the story to the agent who later signed me, she told me the book read like it had already been published. . . it was “that good”.

 

The bad news: Other authors are going to ask this person for their endorsement…

I’m certain of it, because of who the author is. And, if they are not as experienced as I happen to be, they might actually be taken in by it. And my guess is that they would panic and beg her to help them get the manuscript ready before it is published imperfect and they end up a laughingstock.

 

As for me, I’m not worried. The book was edited by my personal editor before an agent or publisher saw it. Then, of course, it went through extensive editing through the publisher.

Not to mention, even THE BIG FIVE publish books with mistakes. I don’t just mean typos either. I mean big, huge, glaring mistakes that you wonder HOW on Earth they ALL missed. And. . . yes, I’m certain there are one or two of those in my book as well because. . . no matter how many eyes see a book, we’re all human and imperfect. In fact, one of my beta readers caught a mistake that, when I went back through my past documents, the only conclusion I came to was that the computer actually made it. Darn autocorrect.

 

So, to newbies, debuts, first-timers: BE VERY CAREFUL whose advice you take! DON’T just automatically assume that one person’s opinion is the be-all, end-all, last word. . . especially if you happen to have compelling evidence the other way.

This novel has been “quite ready for publication” for over two years. And now I must get back to work on the next one.

 

 

 

 

©Rachel L Miller 2017

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I am being published!

 

S&G Publishing is going to publish my Amish fiction novel(s)! I am so excited!

Some of you have been around since the start of this journey. Some of you have seen how long and hard I have worked on this dream. And for those who have, this may actually feel like a huge, exciting thing for you as well!

I have not chronicled every single step of this journey because some of them were simply too painful, and I know I haven’t been chatty for quite a while, but that is going to change now.

I am going to work harder at being HERE!

I intend to take you all along on this journey with me – and I hope you will all enjoy it as much as I am!

 

Watch for more news coming soon!

 

©Rachel L Miller 2016

 

What CHRISTmas means to me…

Over the years I have discovered that Christmas is one of those things that means something a little different to everyone – even people who celebrate for essentially the same reason.

Obviously I cannot list all of those reasons because… well… 7.3 billion + people… But I’m going to list some of the general reasons. I have a point – I promise.

To some, Christmas is a very serious season – meant to be revered, solemn, quiet, still… Some of these people may decorate a tree, where others want nothing to do with trees because they feel so commercial.

To some, Christmas is all about the fun – meant for sleigh riding, snowball fights, ripping into wrapping paper and hanging out with friends. You’ll find that most of these people decorate a tree, bake tons of cookies, shop endlessly and watch every Christmas special they can. I did say most though… there are always exceptions.

To some, Christmas is just about family – baking together, making one of a kind gifts, doing a secret Santa drawing so you can really personalize and pour all your energy into that one perfect gift, and of course… traveling to visit family.

 

But where do I fall? What does Christmas mean to me?

Well, I am – like so many others – one of a kind.

I cherish CHRISTmas because of what the holiday originally stood for – the birth of our Lord and Savior; JESUS CHRIST! And there is reverence in holding this dear.

I value my family during this time – because without JESUS’ sacrifice and Saving Grace, would any of us be here now?

And of course, I focus on having fun with my family – because I believe it is what JESUS would want me to do this time of year… in reality… every time of year. JESUS blessed me with my two children – two little miracles all my own – and I intend to do everything I can to show them how rare and precious they are; not just to me but to their Heavenly Father as well.

We will watch Christmas specials that focus on all these things; A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Nativity Story, Christmas comes to Canaan, etc… because the most important thing about Christmas isn’t the tree… or the presents… or the food… or the movies you watch… or even the people you watch with… it’s remembering WHY all of that is important – because JESUS gave his LIFE to save us and HE deserves ALL THE PRAISE for blessing us this season and every other!

GOD BLESS YOU!

MERRY CHRISTmas!

Christmas 2015 Name

 

©Rachel L Miller 2015

With December, comes BIG NEWS for this author!!!

It’s almost time for Christmas!

Can you believe it?

As this season unfolds around us, we have so many things to be thankful for. I am thankful for family and friends, for being able to spend so much time with my family, not having to go work in an office or business away from home. I pray this is always the case.

I am also thankful for the reason this season exists . . .

Did you know that we serve such an amazing God, a loving God, and a forgiving God. As humans, we build things, write things, draw or shape things – and then when something goes wrong with it, we toss it away and start fresh.

I thank God that he did not simply discard his flawed creation – instead sending his son down to Earth as a babe so that He could walk among us and then one day . . . save us from our own flaws, our own weaknesses and frailty, our very humanity; which caused so many to reject Him and crucify Him. He knew all of these things ahead of time, but He still came.

And there is no better story than His!

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

~ Luke 2 (KJV)

 

Before you go, I have some exciting news…

Since the day I first created my fan page on Facebook, I have had messages, posts, and comments posted – asking me where my books can be bought… or when they will be available.

Of course, each one of these posts thrilled me because it showed me that readers were interested in what I had to say.

I watched as the number of “likes” on that page steadily climbed and I debated on whether or not I wanted to go with traditional publishing or if I should Indie publish.

Many of you know that I had a disheartening experience earlier this year with an agent… who told me my work was ready to sell, but ultimately decided not to represent me. I was hurt – and decided to throw in the towel (figuratively) for a bit… but I’m thankful to say that GOD is not finished with my work yet!

HE has much better plans for me…

Following HIS leading, I was moved to try again, and…

I am pleased to announce that I officially have an agent – a fantastic, talented, successful agent. And she believes in my work. We have met once and spoken twice over the phone and I am pleased to say that we get along famously!

DA DA DA…DA

I am now represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube agency! WHOO HOO!

Here I am, grinning as I prepare to sign the contract…

Here I am, signing the contract!

And here I am, being silly while I prepare to sign the contract! I love out-takes so much, I just had to share some with you!

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I can’t imagine a better day! Well, except maybe the day Tamela calls to tell me she has a publisher who wants to work with me… or the day I sign that contract… maybe the day I get to hold the first copy of my book… or perhaps the day I see it in a book store…

You get the idea…

If you’re interested in keeping up with all of this, think about signing up for my NEWSLETTER! YAY!

Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours!

GOD Bless!

Being single and adhering to God’s will | From the other side of marriage

I read an article this morning – and it inspired the following post.

So, being single at 28 doesn’t mean I’m desperate, but it does mean that I’m choosing to sacrifice my desires for God’s desires and plan.

TODAYSCHRISTIANWOMAN.COM

I’m Not Desperate, Just Single.
Please stop stigmatizing my singleness

 

. . .

First off, let me say – I LOVE this article. It touched my heart and gave me renewed sense of purpose.

Second, I will tell you that I live on the other side of this discussion – not just because I am in my thirties, but also because I am single, having married and divorced in my twenties.

For years . . . absolutely years, I heard “Just give yourself some time. You’ll decide to move on at some point and meet someone new.”

Well, I tried that. Before I re-dedicated my heart and life to God, I tried NOT being married and having the full-on relationship. I went from one-night stands to serious committed relationships to casual dating and “hooking-up”.

And I have to point out right here that I had a pretty impressive track record for a girl who was told over and over and over in high school that she would never be attractive to men unless she dropped about 50 pounds. Amazingly enough, I did lose about 30 pounds after my divorce. And then I got involved in a relationship that lasted over two years – and when that one ended, I was actually heavier than I was in high school. So I spent my wild years in relationships with men (not all handsome, but not all dogs either) who found my plus-size figure attractive enough. . . No, I’m not condoning my behavior – I’m just pointing out that size doesn’t make as much a difference as everyone would like to think.

OK.

After I decided my crazy, mixed-up, messed-up ways were not the best way to go about things, I decided I needed to get married again.

Clearly, since I reside once again in the world of the single life, that was a mistake.

I did not wait for God’s leading.

I did look for signs from God, but I was seeing them in the wrong places and still going about things all the wrong way. So it’s really no wonder that things ended . . . badly.

And once again, I heard the well-wishers who proclaimed that all I needed was to give my heart time to heal.

 

But here’s the thing (and it’s really the most important thing) . . .

It’s not about what I want.

GOD knows – so much better than I ever could – what is the right way for me, what is the right thing for me.

If I had listened to God . . . if I had waited for God . . . my life would be very different right now.

I might be married . . . I might not . . . But my life would definitely be very different.

THIS TIME, I am determined to wait for God’s plan. I am determined to wait for God’s will! And if that means I spend my life without a husband, then THAT is what I am going to do!

It doesn’t matter that my entire family looks at me like I’m damaged goods.

It doesn’t matter (though it really does hurt) that the families in our home-school organization look at me like I’m being rebellious and strong-willed. I know why I’m doing this and IT. IS. WORTH. IT!

So, from the other side of marriage, I have to agree with Rachel on this aspect, at least – it is more important that we do what WE KNOW GOD wants from us and WE have to make the choice to FOLLOW HIS leading!

 

IN GOD I TRUST!

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