Friday, April 25, 2014

The 'R' Word

I posted on facebook a few weeks ago about my latest rejection for my bdsm contemporary erotic romance 'To Serve And Protect. I had someone message me that perhaps I shouldn't post about my rejections because I don't want to seem unprofessional and other publishers where it's under consideration will see that it's been rejected and it will give them more incentive to reject it too.

This gave me pause because my biggest question was WHY? I mean, silly me, but I believe a manuscript should be judged based on it's own merit and whether it's a good fit with this or that publishing house. If it's not, well, why bother submitting to a place that engages in childish game playing? Not too interested in that kind of a publisher. How many huge blockbuster novels were rejected only to go on to astronomical success, leaving those publishers who rejected it with their heads in their hands? In this day and age, can publishers really afford to let anything BUT the book itself dictate whether they accept it or not? Authors should present themselves professionally in communicating with publishers. Certainly. Yes. I'm totally behind that. But on my facebook? That's mine. That's my fun place to engage readers and share jokes and sexy pics etc. It's the place for readers to see me as a 'person' and not just an 'author'.

Also, I think it's important for authors to share their writing journeys with their readers and fellow authors because I think it helps hold us all up and helps each other navigate the pitfalls of this crazy business. We can show each other that yes, even if you've been published, it doesn't mean that all publishers will automatically think everything you write is lit up with rainbows. You can and probably will be rejected after you get published once, twice, three, 75645399 times.

Another point made to me was that I could share the hardships of being published, after To Serve And Protect finds a home and is out there. I think this is about as helpful to aspiring authors as a bombshell actress telling girls with low self esteem that she grew up a gangly, nerdy tomboy. It makes me gnash my teeth because well bully for you, but that doesn't help that poor picked on girl who can't get a boy to look at her one iota. (plus chances are pretty high it's complete bullshit just to make the actress seem relateable and she was just lucky enough to be born that hot.)

I think it's a lot more helpful for other authors to see that struggle in real time, to share in the sad frustrations of the writing life. Once that book finds a home and takes off, an aspiring writer who follows me can say 'wow, she really went through a lot to get that book out there. I can do this too!'   

And it'll mean that much more when THAT author gets her first contract because she knows that others have shared her same struggles and fears.

Writing is a solitary enough business. I think we need to share more with each other, not less because I don't think it helps anyone to put up this wall of secrecy around the depressing side of this business.