Don’t Give Up!

In literature, when nine hundred and ninety-nine souls ignore you, but the thousandth buys your work, or at least borrows it — that is called enormous popularity. ~Arnold Bennett (1867–1931), English writer

You could have knocked me over with a feather the day I learned somebody wanted to publish my book.

I won’t bore you with details of how long it took to write it — snatching moments while my son Domer was at a sports practice or lesson, waiting in the car for him after school, between clients at work.

When I thought I’d finally finished writing, I asked some trusted associates to serve as beta (and proof) readers and incorporated the suggestions I felt appropriate.

Then I sent out queries seeking agent representation. Most didn’t bother responding; the ones who did (bless them!) said my premise was “interesting,” but the story “wasn’t right” for them.

Back to editing. Tightening prose. Reworking chapters.

Anguishing over whether this was the best story I could write — at the time — and investigating the advantages of self-publishing.

But another round of queries indicated I was improving — I received more replies than ignores, though still nothing substantial. Eventually, I decided to quit stressing and focus on writing the next book.

One day I was “killing time” on Twitter when I noticed a small publisher was accepting submissions, no agent required.

Seriously? Well, all right, I thought, and immediately sent them my query.

They liked it! Hey, Mikey, they liked it!!

They wanted to see a partial; then the full manuscript. (Yes, fiction needs to be completed before shopping it around; it’s nonfiction that can stand on a premise alone). Then came the day they told me they’d love to publish it.

Woo-Hoo! Happy Dance!

My point is, Never give up on your dreams!

When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
~Author Unknown

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48 thoughts on “Don’t Give Up!

    • Thank you, Linda. Actually, the ball started rolling toward the end of 2016 (nobody ever said publishing is fast, unless you self-publish I guess). I kind of think of it as an early birthday present! If you’re sure you want more details, I’ll cough some up — I just don’t want to bore anybody to death. I’m learning as I go, and perhaps that’s the way to handle it … sharing what I’ve learned. Maybe??

  1. This is FABULOUS, Debbie! I am so, so pleased for you. Keeps us all posted on the progress – I want to hear all about it, every step of the way! Sending huge hugs from this side of the pond :) x

    • Lucy, your words have me doing another Happy Dance — thank you for being such a supportive friend! I know you’ve already been down this publishing road, so you realize what a LONG road it is. And how ecstatic one feels at the idea that *anybody* actually appreciates something we’ve written. Big hugs received and returned to you!

      • My pleasure I assure you! And yes, it is an EPIC journey and getting published is just the start – just remember to never take anything personally and ALWAYS have faith in your talent and ability. It’s so easy to lose sight of your achievements in the mire of publicity, critics and everything else. And enjoy every moment – you are a star!!

    • Thank you ever so much, John. I’ve learned so much from my friends who have trod this path to publication before me. We share the dream, the rejection letters, and if we’re persistent, we share the joy of bringing our words to the reading public. It’s a humbling thought — one I’ve never taken lightly — and all I can do at this point is hope my book doesn’t disappoint!

  2. I have told this before. A very famous author used to take pushpin and pin all his rejections to a cork board. He didn’t give up. You’ve heard of him. Dr. Seuss was rejected by twenty-one people. Elvis was once told to forget about music and keep driving a truck. The list goes on and on. I can’t agree more. Don’t give up.

    Tim

    • Tim, thank you so much for your lovely words of inspiration and encouragement. Yes, the books are full of stories of artists who were told to ply their talents elsewhere. Perhaps a bit of stubbornness is a necessity?!?

  3. *DOING THE HAPPY DANCE FOR YOU*

    *and thunderous applause*

    A HUGE congratulations, Debbie! OMG…and am soooooooooooooooooooooooo excited and happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! However, I am not a bit surprised that your work is being published because as I’ve shared with you in many comments that I’ve left here, I think you are such a talented, gifted, and unique writer because you write in many different genres, ALL of which are outstanding. You are also very clever in your writing.

    As others here have shared, please keep us posted on your progress, okay?

    Again, CONGRATULATIONS, my friend!

    X

    P.S. I bet your Domer and Dallas are very happy and proud of you!

    • What a fabulous comment, Ron — thank you so much for your words of encouragement! I’ve been catching myself doing the Happy Dance a lot lately — people probably think I’m nuts, but it’s hard not to be excited when some long-hoped-for dream finally comes true!

      Happy rest of your week, my friend, and watch out for those storms! xx

  4. Congrats, Debbie! Yes, it is such an ordeal, this whole publishing fiasco. People really need tough skin sometimes. I have been really frustrated lately in submitting to literary magazines. They are so haughty, it seems, and they seem to like such far out experimental stuff that my work never fits. I have considered, many times, throwing in my writing towel and adopting a new hobby, ha ha!

    • Don’t you dare do that, Lana!! Perhaps you just need to find different outlets for your words? I think writers often go through different “phases” in their efforts where they change style, genre, or whatever. You might just have plateaued at one phase and are taking the first steps toward something else. Don’t give up!!

      • Oh Debbie, you are so kind. I’m sure I won’t stop writing, but I get so irritated with those snobby lit presses. I have written several short stories that I have sent out that are constantly passed over, but there are still many places I haven’t sent them, ha ha. Thanks for the encouragement :-D

    • Thank you ever so much, Pat! As a published author, you still must feel the thrill of holding your book in your hands. I’m so looking forward to that, too!!

  5. Oh Debbie – how exciting!!!!! So very happy for you and looking forward to reading about your journey from this point on in the process. You’ve inspired me to get back to cleaning up a couple of my works in progress. How wonderful….smiling from ear to ear over here. Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations!

    • Bless your heart, Barb — and thank you for such enthusiastic support!! I’m still pinching myself. One dreams for so long that something like this will happen and when it does, it’s almost too big to grasp!

  6. I’m soooo excited about this and VERY proud of you! There is a song I sing called…”What God has for you is for you”. I’m so glad for your blessing and I pray this book project goes far. I’m also encouraged to keep pressing on with my stalled projects.

    • Thanks so much, Tanya! It’s very humbling when dreams come true and important that we accept them as the blessings they are. Now, don’t give up on your own projects!!

  7. I knew it! CONGRATULATIONS DEBBIE! (sorry I had to yell there, but I think a celebration is in order!!!) This is so inspiring. I love to hear stories like this. It’s fuel for us writers to keep on keeping on!

    • Thank you so much, DD. It was a happy day for sure, and I keep pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming! You bet — refusing to give up is key!

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