1. sprirj
    Offline

    sprirj Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    158

    What happens when you don't get published?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by sprirj, Jul 8, 2015.

    I'm writing a sure fire best seller, so is everyone here right? Well what if...that thing you have been spending every free moment of your life working on, when you could have been doing better things like completing pacman (insert trendy game here)... Is a waste of time?

    Do you accept that it won't be read by millions or even an agent? Do you turn to some other project/idea? Or is this goddamn book so important you will flog it like a cheap Amsterdam whore in the red lights of Amazon?

    I don't think I could suffer this pain for the rest of my life. I'd want some kind of reward (or award).
     
  2. Mattiemae
    Offline

    Mattiemae Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I think all you can do is give it your best shot. That's the risk we take. I think if you've already spent a certain amount of time on it, and you feel you can't do anything more, it's just time to throw it out there and see what happens. If it's a flop you just know to learn from your mistakes, and try something new.
     
    Ivana likes this.
  3. Ivana
    Offline

    Ivana Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Far side of Unatsu
    I think what you can do now is finish it and give it away to a lot of beta readers. If they are delighted, then sure, send it out to agents. If not, well, you can polish it and send it out anyway. :D The important thing is that you love it.
    My problem is even more tiresome: I finished the novel, gave it away to more than 20 beta readers who all loved it (at least they say so :D ), but I can't send it to agents because the book is not written in English (there are no agents for my language and basically no publishing industry at all in my country). I don't write well enough in English to try and translate it by myself, and there's no money for the translation... :bigmeh:
    But I started to work on something new, hoping that eventually something will come up. So there are always some obstacles out there, but we must have faith and remain positive, right? ;)
     
  4. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    671
    I think it is very useful to not think about the reward. Or to think the reward is writing it not publishing it.

    Don't me wrong. I want mine read too and published and all that jazz. Probably the third best feeling ever. (First and second I reserve for finding the love of my life and having children with her.)

    Like anything in life though. You want the road to be the best part not the destination. If you write and love doing it and can't stop or won't stop. Then even if it doesn't get published you still had one heck of a ride. Then if it does get published? One heck of a ride because one freaking awesomely amazing heck of a ride.

    Which I like to compare to the alternative. If you push through and feel the weight of the challenge making you grumpy. Then publishing isn't going to feel as amazing. It is going to feel like well standard I imagine. After all you paid your due and got what you expected/wanted.

    So I see no reason to daydream about publishing yet. Except for a nice wish filling day dream.

    Me personally? I can't put it down. If I do put writing down for too long I feel sad. Know what I mean? Plus after enough expirence you get pretty good at it. It is nice to have a skill not shared by everyone. Published or not.
     
    Ivana likes this.
  5. izzybot
    Offline

    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    948
    Location:
    SC, USA
    I stopped writing my novel at one point because I got close enough to the end to start thinking about the editing and submitting process and the anxiety killed my brain.

    Buuut now I've done a lot more of that garbage with short stories and the whole thing freaks me out a lot less. What happens? Not much. You resubmit about thirty times. You edit about three hundred times. You keep doing it. It's never going to be a waste of time because you're always going to be learning something as you go, and the next thing will be better and easier.

    I have a lot of projects in the works so personally I don't have to worry about all my eggs being in one basket. No one's into the apoc story right now? Cool. Keep it on the backburner and focus on the sci-fi thing for a while instead. Come back to the apoc one later. I also don't think I'm above amazon, so hey.
     
    minstrel likes this.
  6. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    You submit it all over, wherever appropriate. And while all the submitting is going on, you work on your next project. Rinse, repeat.
     
  7. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,220
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Think about the destination, not the goal. If you must have a goal, have the goal be: have a completed first draft.

    The three things I'm working on now will likely never be published (though I do daydream of the day they are.) I'm not even worried about publishing them, I'm worried about getting them finished at all. In order to publish, you kind of need a finished, polished something for the agents to work with.

    I don't think it's a waste of time to write without being published. If you like the process, it's not a waste of time.
     
    james82, minstrel and GingerCoffee like this.
  8. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    My reward is my self-satisfaction, and in the case of no traditional agent/publisher picking it up, I'd just self-published. If I self-pub enough books for me to start actually putting effort into a website and promoting it, then I shall do that too. Currently with only one book I'm not seeing the need to start promoting really, cus even if it gets me readers, they'll fizz away before my next book comes out and then I'll have lost the momentum I worked so hard at building (assuming I even manage to build any noise/momentum for my book, of course).

    But I write simply cus I wanna. I love playing with words, and hopefully if I'm writing an actual novel then I'll probably love my story and characters too. I don't do it for money or fame - both would be awesome to have, of course - but if I don't get either, I'll still keep on writing. Probably not everyday, probably will take year-long gaps while I forget about it altogether, but it's something I know I'll always come back to for the rest of my life :) It's too much fun :D
     
    peachalulu likes this.
  9. Aaron DC
    Offline

    Aaron DC Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    Someone suggested focusing on the destination, not the goal, but I wonder if they meant the journey, not the destination.

    Regardless, I will say that I am focusing on the journey.

    I am connecting with one or two here: bonus
    I am learning: bonus
    I am improving my writing: bonus
    I have an opportunity to connect with other writers in real life and share a common ground / goal / focus: bonus
    I will learn to write a script / screen play that will then provide material to do a movie: bonus
    I get the opportunity to learn about publishing and marketing and sales: bonus
    I will have written 3 novels and a number of short stories: bonus

    Seems worth it in my ... er ... book.

    :D
     
    peachalulu likes this.
  10. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,622
    Likes Received:
    5,105
    For me, it's really useful to think of writing as an ongoing process, not something that's ever done. So an individual project may be finished (and it's worth celebrating that) but I'm not finished. So I start the next project, try to remember what I learned from the previous one, and carry one.

    I've never had a book that wasn't published, but I imagine if I did I'd probably take a really hard look at why it didn't sell and go from there. My agent is currently shopping one around that may not sell, because it's NA but not a romance, which means nobody likely wants to take a chance on it. If it doesn't sell, I'll probably self-publish it, because I know the writing's solid and I believe in the story. But it'll be a decision I'll have to make on an individual basis, not something that would apply across the board.
     
    peachalulu likes this.
  11. Edit Proofread and Revise
    Offline

    Edit Proofread and Revise New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keep on keeping on! Keep pushing your manuscript or bypass the whole agent scene and self publish!
     
  12. sprirj
    Offline

    sprirj Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    158
    Ivana I think you should start a publishing house for your language. There must be a need for it?
     
    Ivana likes this.
  13. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,824
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    I don't think in terms of this is my break out novel. Maybe I have in the past considering I have a few crappy novels sitting in a desk drawer. lol. But because of them I know writing is about learning. Learning who you are, what you have to say, how to manage grammar, everything. It's such a process that it feels funny to think that when we're done it should get easier - that someone should just grab your book because of your effort and publish it. Unfortunately it's just the start of another process. I've been rejected once for a novel ( and I don't blame them. ) I kept writing. I love it too much to stop.
    Rewards? I don't know. Money would make life easier. Fame would be a double edged sword. Sometimes the best reward is just having someone you care about saying this is fantastic - and meaning it.
    I've got a novel right now that I have plans for. My goal is to finish it to the point where I know I've captured what I wanted to and to find the right hands to put it into. I won't set myself up for another fall but thinking negatively ( I haven't even completed the book yet ) - I'll just wait, have faith and hope.
     
  14. aguywhotypes
    Offline

    aguywhotypes Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Millersburg, Ohio, United States
    Ray Bradbury says this is why you should start out writing short stories so that if/when you fail you don't have so much time invested. You learn to fix your mistakes sooner. He warns exactly about this very thing.

    There is the option of just quitting. Keep in mind if you do, you are GUARANTEED TO FAIL 100%
     
  15. Aaron Smith
    Offline

    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    401
    Anthony Doerr only recently broke through with All the Light We Cannot See. Sometimes you just got to hit the right tangents, and you should keep trying until you do.
     
    aguywhotypes likes this.
  16. Renee J
    Offline

    Renee J Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    Some people say you won't be good until you have a few novels under your belt, so this can be seen as a step towards that. Though. I'm aiming for the red lights of Amazon, so I'm not too worried about my first book.
     
  17. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,220
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Yeah, I haven't heard of a writer who succeeded at writing anything by simply quitting. :p
     
  18. Ivana
    Offline

    Ivana Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Far side of Unatsu
    There are 2 or 3 larger publishers in my country but they usually just translate popular foreign books, while paying little or no attention to the new writers. The other "publishers" are more of a small printing offices which actually ask you to pay for printing your book (all of the costs) and they try to sell it for you (writers usually end up with few hundred copies of their novel and broke). However, there are no literary agents (not a single one) and starting that business would be something to think about. ;) I just don't have a clue what would it take to start a literary agency. :)
     
    sprirj likes this.
  19. Selbbin
    Online

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    1,801
    Location:
    Australia
    Meh. If you don't like failure go away and sell socks. The truth is that most of the stuff that most of us write will never amount to anything. But some of it will.

    Also, people should self-publish only what is worthy, and not just stick any old crap out there because the ego demands attention.
     
  20. sprirj
    Offline

    sprirj Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    158
    I'm not sure either, but I think it would be exciting to try. Certainly I think that the forums wealth of knowledge may help?
     
    Ivana likes this.
  21. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,622
    Likes Received:
    5,105
    Usually literary agents are either lawyers with quite a bit of experience in publishing or they've done a sort of apprenticeship with an existing agent or they've worked in publishing for quite a while and learned the industry that way. For someone who isn't already a lawyer and who lives in a country without existing agents, I'd say the most straightforward way to become an agent would be to get a job in the publishing industry and learn about it that way.
     
    Ivana likes this.
  22. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    Been there, several times. I just write something new, making sure I do it better each time and that I learn something from my latest project and why it was rejected.
     

Share This Page