Muse Monday: getting published

How do you get published? It’s a good question, and one that’s answered differently by each author who’s asked. Since you’re here, I’ll tell you my answer: KEEP TRYING.

It took me right at two months to write my first novel. It took almost ten months after that to get an offer from a publisher. Over those ten months, I developed a pretty thick skin.

I submitted to agents (in order to get in with the “big publishers”) and to publishers directly. I had a few that I was leaning towards, as far as individuals or companies that I really wanted to work with, but I submitted to dozens. Many dozens.

Thankfully, one of the publishers that I really wanted to work with is the publisher that I wound up signing a contract with. Before I got the offer from her, and one other publisher, I got rejections. Lots of rejections.

Now, getting rejections wasn’t as bad as I’d thought it would be. I knew that receiving rejections was part of the process. What bothered me was that they were all, every single one of them, form letters. There was a little, tiny, bit of variation, but they all basically read: Hey, author, thanks for thinking of us. We like your work, but not enough to do anything with it. Keep trying, though.

I dearly wished that, if I had to get rejection letters, I would get a rejection letter that contained some helpful advice. I never did. Since I didn’t, I had to just keep trying. I kept putting myself and my novel out there, until I found a publisher who liked both of us just as we were.

The patience and perseverance paid off. So, now, I can look back on all those rejections and think, “Well, they were just making sure I had something to keep me busy until the right offer came along.”

If you’re dreaming of getting published, just keep trying. Those rejection letters are just stepping stones to your dream.

Good luck, my friends!

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