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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Writing For Love Of Writing

I write contemporary romance. More specifically, I write funny, sexy romance with a cheeky attitude--a chick lit attitude if you will. I love writing, and I love writing my particular brand of book.

A few years ago, I heard a University of Houston Literature professor, who is also a published poet, say that only poets wrote for the love of writing. His reasoning was that poets never make any money from writing so they do it strictly because they love stringing words together.

I disagreed with him then, and I disagree now because I know many, many writers who have written hundreds of thousands of words and have never been published yet they still keep writing. Sure, they submitted to publishers, but they've been rejected time and again -- not because their writing isn't worthy of publication.

Why, Oh Why

What most people in the general public don't realize is that authors get rejected all the time, and I mean professional writers who are well-versed in the necessary skills to write a publishable book. I also mean already published authors and those writers who haven't been published but who deserve to be.

Writers don't get published because of myriad reasons, many of them subjective. Perhaps the publisher just bought a manuscript with that premise or that same setting. Maybe the editor doesn't think the marketing hook is high concept enough or the editor's personal opinion is that no one could ever be caught in the situation that's in the opening scene of the book.

Maybe the publisher has an author who already writes that type of book, and they don't see a need for another author writing it. Maybe the industry is downsizing. Maybe the editor doesn't like women like the heroine of the piece. Or, maybe the hero's name is Brian, and the editor just split from her significant other who is also named Brian. The "maybe's" go on forever.

Give Up?

Sometimes, good writing just never lands on the right editor or agent's desk. That would be the person who "gets" the story. Do authors give up? Some do. Some don't. Writers are motivated to find an audience. They outline another book and start writing. Why? Because they can't not write. They love writing.

Technology Lets Readers Find You

With the new technology of Kindles, Nooks, Sony eReaders, Kobo readers, etc., authors who used to bury rejected manuscripts in the bottom of a file drawer now have another option. They can become an indie author. They can have their manuscript edited, proofread, and adorned with professional cover art and then publish the work as an ebook, print book, audio book, or all three!

Readers can find these indie authors without the big New York publicity machine to guide them. Writers can achieve their biggest goal: having their work read! Indie authors can price their books competitively, as the authors of this blog do, in order to appeal to readers who may not know their work.

I mean, who bats an eye at paying even $3.99 for an ebook when a Venti Cappuccino costs that much, a snack at a food court costs more, and a movie ticket costs much more? So, $2.99 and $.99 are impulse buys. With ebooks, you get a lot of entertainment for very little expense.

My Indie Career

I've published books from my backlist (see Joan's Books) and original fiction as ebooks. In fact, I'm getting ready to publish another one as soon as I get it back from another trip through proofreading. (Look for it the middle of May.) I've been blessed because most of my romance novels have been Kindle bestsellers. They also sell well on the other websites too.

This year, I'll be publishing those same books as print books and as audio books. Every single day, I'm constantly amazed that I can offer my books for sale in this manner, and I deeply appreciate those of you who buy my books and recommend them to others.

P. S.

I think Calvin Coolidge really was right. "Persist. Persist. Never give up." With the help of technology, persistence is now paying off for me--and a lot of other authors.

13 comments:

  1. Joan's a fantastic writer and generous with her author information. Love her blog! Don't ever hesitate to buy a Joan Reeves' book!

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    1. Thanks, Elaine, for visiting and commenting. Looking forward to being a guest on your radio show!

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  2. Joan, excellent article on our path to publication. I have books pubbed with a "major" publisher, with a POD and epublisher, and am now publishing indie books. Your post presented our situation very clearly. Thanks.

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    1. Hi, Caroline! Yes, we have all traveled many paths to get here, haven't we? Every month when royalties are paid, I feel as if I should send a thank you note to the inventors responsible for Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.

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  3. What a pleasure that Joan Reeves is publishing her backlist for new readers to enjoy! Her stories are funny and sexy and so emotional. I've read them all and can recommend every one of them.

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    1. Hi, Cynthia! Thank you so much. You are such a sweetie! And also an extremely talented writer!

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  4. You put it so well why some writers don't sell. The public thinks those stories just weren't good enough. So wrong!! It can be a dozen reasons and sometimes it isn't even about the writing.

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    1. Jill, you are so right. Too many reasons that have little to do with the quality of a submission that result in a "no thanks" from traditional publishers.

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  5. Thank you for a great post, Joan. Many of us walked that path: submissions, rejections, publications, and then thinking why not do it on my own. For me it worked so much better.

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    1. Mona, thank you. We've all traveled a few miles in those shoes. Thank goodness for another path to follow. Now authors can follow one or the other or both if they so choose! That's definitely a win-win.

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  6. I do understand. I write for love of telling a story. I have had more than one publisher say my writing was wonderful and my characters were worthy, that I had a strong voice and a flair for suspense, and more, BUT my stories didn't fit their needs or their lists, etc. I love that I can self-publish my work at a reasonable price and some folks can read it.

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