I won’t lie….the process of writing, publishing and marketing can be brutal.  It’s nearly impossible for new authors  break into the market.

Most debut authors will experience a wide-scale rejection on some level. It usually happens early in the post-wrting process. You find you are sending out so many query letters that you actually build a database to track your rejections. Even when you get an agent to take you on as a client, they have to convince a publisher to take you on (which can be another exercise in rejection). Then, once your published, you somehow have to get your book noticed. But no one, and I mean NO ONE, wants to touch you. It must be the plague. I mean, what other explanation could there be?

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a dramatic metaphor, but I’m a writer. I can do that. It truth, the process is a lot more like trying to get a loan for the first time. Do you remember having a conversation along theses lines?

Cruella Deville: Do you have any credit?

You: No, I am trying to establish my credit by getting this loan.

Cruella Deville: Darling, you must have credit to get credit. That’s how credit works.

You: Well, I have a good job, I can make the payments, and I really need this loan!

Cruella Deville: Ha Ha Ha, (she throws her head back and laughs cynically). Don’t be silly darling. None of that matters.

Sound familiar? If so, it’s probably not because you were trying to get a loan recently. Rather, because you’re a new author seeking and agent or editor, trying to get reviews and blurbs for your book, or are trying to market your book.

You: Hello. I am a debut author. I have written this fabulous book. Everybody says so. I really think it would be a great book for your agency, (or publication, blog, etc.)

Cruella Deville: What other books have you published? Have you any other published works? Articles? Anthologies? Anything at all?

You: Um…no. Like I said, I’m a debut author. I don’t have any other published works. At all.

Cruella Deville: Darling, you must have been published to get published. That’s how publishing works.

You: But I have had the book professionally copy edited, it’s been proofread, formatted, and the cover design and layout are complete! I have a great platform: Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and an expensive custom web site.

Cruella Deville: Ha Ha Ha, (she throws her head back and laughs cynically). Don’t be silly darling. None of that matters.

So what’s to be done? How do you get that first book deal or review? How do you break through the debut barrier with the Black Death hanging over your head?

Simple (but by no means, easy)− you get published at all costs. Anywhere and everywhere. Guest blog, pester the editor of the local paper, submit to your favorite obscure magazine, and write your own blog. Find out who is looking for submissions and submit, submit, submit! Find authors that are also in quarantine and read and review each other’s books. Join writer communities where you will find the support you need, support new authors yourself, and never, ever, give up (Winston Churchill). Don’t just build your platform, build relationships. And most importantly, get to work on that next book.

Remember:

1) Nothing sells your first book better than your second (an editor shared that with me after rejecting my work) and writer friends have confirmed, that over the long haul, this is the best investment of their time.

2) When you are shopping or marketing your second book, you can then say YOU’VE BEEN PUBLISHED!

Yes, the Black Death is ugly, depressing, and discouraging. But once you have your book out there (along with other articles, blogs, etc.), you’ll never have the debut author’s plague −ever again.
Unfortunately, I must point out that while this strategy has been used by many with successful results, I am presently following my own advice and taking what my Dad would call a W.A.G. (Wild Ass Guess). Let the experiment begin! Stay tuned…Vote for Remi, my DEBUT novel, releases on May 13th. Happy writing and happier reading!