First up, a rejection from an editor who’d had my full manuscript for over four months. Liked the writing. Saw good potential. Passed on this particular story. Left the door open for future projects. This is as good as “bad news” can get.
So, I forwarded the editor’s response on to the agent who’d been considering representing me. Three days later, I got a short response. Glad you’re getting encouragement. Write closer to the market and consider submitting again.
That makes seven for seven on closed doors this year. It appears my craft is good (from those who bothered to reply) but my story isn’t marketable. Create a better story, and … ?
Now for the other news. I self-published Making Lemonade: Parents Transforming Special Needs this summer in both print and ebook formats … and then created two short devotional ebooks with gardening and football themes. Periodically, I check the sales reports. Some show real time sales (like on Kindle). Other avenues take over a month for sales to be reported and then another month for the money to be received and eventually trickle into my bank account.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to find a jump in one report due to multiple sales of one of the books. Like 22 copies sold in one day. Hmm. And it wasn’t even on a day I’d blogged or tweeted about that topic. Somehow, my message was reaching people. And that felt good.
With this variety of feedback, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and praying about my writing career. I can (and eventually will) work on developing and writing a fiction story better suited for the market. But, in the meantime, I’m going to focus more attention on my non-fiction writing through blogs, devotionals, articles, and maybe even another ebook or two.
After all, why should I devote so much time to something no one will read because I can’t get an agent or editor interested … when there are other readers buying what I have to say on other topics? It’s not about the money, really. It’s about reaching people with the message on my heart. It’s all about connecting with readers.
And mixed results are helping to define my path.
What about you? Has good and/or bad feedback changed the path you took? How did you know a change was necessary? Did it work out?