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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Writing on a deadline…

 

I am officially writing on a deadline. It doesn’t matter that it is a self-imposed deadline. I am taking it as seriously as if it were headed to the publisher.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

~ I have yet to get into a schedule of writing. I had begun before the ACFW conference but that was just getting things ready for that specific conference. This is much more than that.

~ I figure it is smart to have the practice. In the past, I have had the bad habit of rewriting and rewriting and rewriting again. I am determined to break that habit. I will edit, have my editor look over it, fix what she tells me to and then put it aside.

It works out well that I am committed to participate in NaNoWriMo. Starting on November 1st, I won’t have time to argue with this WIP because I’ll be starting a whole new one.

And I intend to be done with it before then.

 

Thus far, I am not on schedule but I am getting caught up. I’m more than half done and gaining ground as I go so I should still finish on time.

The only problem I am running in to is that I took several chapters out – which shortened the book considerably but… the more I edit, the longer the book gets again.

So… I gain ground, but I’m adding more ground as I go too so it’s almost counter-intuitive.

Oh well. I’m getting there.

And speaking of getting there – I better get back to it!

Night!

 

© Rachel L Miller 2014

Late Nights and Coffee Dependency…

I have discovered something lately. I simply can not stay up late at night anymore without copious amounts of coffee on hand. 

I have come to the painful, if somewhat obvious conclusion that I may not be as young as I used to be.

Of course my other persona is a writer of speculative fiction so I suppose I could always write my way into a world where they have 36 hour days, 10 day weeks and 15 month years!

Nah… that wouldn’t work either. I’d just fill that schedule too.

 

Where am I going with this you’re asking yourself…

Well, if you read my last post, you’ll know that I have decided to throw my hat into the ring again with NaNoWriMo.

 

Yep. I really am certifiable. But then, aren’t most writers?

I mean we hear voices in our heads and we talk back – sometimes argue too! Or at least I do.

My characters are always doing stuff I tell them not to – I can’t have that, can I?  There would be chaos all over.

And apparently those of us who participate in NaNoWriMo have just a little extra crazy.

I’m OK with that.

Especially once I figured out that most authors write more than 50,000 words in a month. When you count the first draft of a manuscript, edits on the one you turned in three months ago, blog posts, interviews and social media stuff – that’s WAY more than 50,000.

So if I’m crazy, I must be absolutely normal!

Have a GREAT night!

I’m going back to work!

 

Word Counts, Coffee and Counting down to Conference

Good Morning. 

As you know, I am currently prepping for the 2014 ACFW Conference and let me tell you, it is a mad dash of insanity.

Not only do I have to edit my first novel, I am working hard to get as much of my second novel done at the same time.

Coffee consumption is a large part of how I am accomplishing all of this. I am extremely grateful that Pumpkin Spice creamer has made it’s debut for the season and that Sam’s Club has such a wonderful deal on it because I have already begun to dwindle the supply I stocked the fridge with last week.

Time for another trip to Sam’s I guess…

The most difficult thing for me is that I tend to be easily distracted by details when preparing for an important event.

I have been bogged down by the Business of preparing – ordering business cards, designing one-sheets, accumulating author photos and acquiring social media interest.

All of these things have distracted me for long periods of time from my writing. We all know how that goes. Writers can constantly be found lamenting the fact that they are easily distracted by social media and other small things that can take up a great deal of your day if you let it.

It is extremely easy to get caught up in the plethora of available designs on Vistaprint’s website and spend hours perusing the BONUS items that can be personalized to your original design.

It is exceedingly easy to get caught up in the many stock photo websites where you can find images to manipulate for your book cover image.

It is nearly impossible to walk away from your one-sheet design because every time you look over it again, you will find one more thing to edit.

And do I really need to go into all of the ways in which you can get lost in social media? No, I don’t because you know exactly what I’m talking about – you know how ridiculously easy it is to get lost in Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest. Even WordPress can take up a tremendous amount of time.

All of these things work together to distract from what really needs to be done to prepare for a Writer’s Conference.

…Writing.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to get back to it. I have at least 2,000 words to write today!

 

Have a GREAT weekend!

God Bless!

©Rachel L Miller 2014

Once Upon a Time…

Recently I was chatting with a friend who told me she is on a vacation from writing and… before I go on I want to say something else here

(YUP! Writing ADD strikes again)

Isn’t it funny how often we writers leave it at “a friend”?

I have discovered that “a friend” is usually code for someone who has some pretty incredible news they aren’t ready to share with the rest of the world yet. Every so often it is really code for – they are telling us something deep & dark about themself and it’s not something they may ever be comfortable sharing with the world.

And I say writers but I’m certain we’re not the only ones who do that.

Anyway, so I was chatting with my friend and it struck me as so odd when she mentioned she was on a vacation from writing. Which made me think – how does a writer take a vacation from who they are?

However, like everything else in life, it makes perfect sense really. Like snowflakes, no two people are exactly alike. That means in everything, including why they do something and how they do that something.

Years ago I made some decisions about my life and how I was living it.

In my bio, I mention that I’ve been writing since I was very young. Well that is true.

But…for a very long time, after high school and divorce and doctors telling me I couldn’t have children… the voices went away. For a long time, I couldn’t write anything.

In the years since my AMAZING son was born (clearly God had other plans!), I have finally come back to the place where those stories showed themselves to me again.

So I wrote a book and then I wrote another book and then I queried agents. And then I cried because every single one said “No Thank You” or just “No” and even in some cases just ”      ”

But I kept writing and I finally realized that God had a plan for my writing. I just wasn’t listening. HE has a plan and it is going to be so much better than absolutely anything I can think of so I am now editing my third book (1st in a new series) and waiting for God to show me His plan!

And who knows… maybe some day I will get to the point when I relish a vacation from writing. But I doubt it. Because now that I finally have that part of me back, I feel whole again. I feel real again. I feel sane again (that probably sounds odd since I’ve already admitted that I hear voices).

And I hope that I never lose that part of me again.

And whether I ever get published, self-publish or just write for me and my family and friends – I am beyond overjoyed to have what I like to think of as my connection with Heaven working again!

GOD BLESS and Good Day!

©Rachel L. Miller 2014