Surviving Rejections from Literary Agents

Man, it hasn’t been easy but I’m taking all these rejections in stride. I’ve pitched my novel since early April of this year to at least 10 agent/agencies with answer ranging from, “your word count is too low,” which pushed me to enhance the story further to now, “I love parts of your story but I’m not the best fit…but keep going.”

I know that the last part is supposed to be encouraging, give me hope still that someone will pick my baby up but honestly, it’s giving me more motivation to move mountains on my own. I don’t feel like the answer is to self-publish, because I know this story resonates with a lot of women around the world. How do I know that? Because I’ve been asking women all over the world to read my book and they tell me so.

So yeah, I have taken a temp on my work and everyone who reads it, who isn’t in the professional world of literature seems to dig it. And there lies the problem; I need people in the literary arena to give her a chance to breath life, trust the vision, and guide me in ways to bring it all the way home if it’s not completely there.

I need to get this book out to a larger audience, to let women know of all types, especially black women, that our sexuality and preferences matter as much as men and we have to learn how to explore it in our own way. Not as we’ve learn, as we feel. Living our true nature, not this domesticated lifestyle. Isn’t that what being a true romance author is all about–telling the stories that bring not just love but self-assurance and joy into the lives of our readers.

I believe in my message and the words that surround it. My team, my family, my readers, and my followers feel the same too, so as much as rejection sucks, it’s inspiring me to keep it pushing. I’ve got to knock out the next novella and let the world decide.

I’ll hold on my novel for a while longer because I know the right agent is out there, but I hope we can connect soon because it’s starting to feel like I’m holding a firecracker in my pocket. Conversations around me hit on my storyline and women want to connect now about their feelings and thoughts.

NaNoWriMo is right around the corner and I plan to tighten up and complete Untraditional II so I can give women another outlet for their curiosity and sexual evolution. It’ll be a great distraction from the “No but keep going” comments. Even as I look back now, I remember thinking that I had some extremely outrageous goals for my fiction writing career, but something is telling me that it’s in reach. I just have to stay focus and resilient.

I challenge you all to do the same, my passion-fy family! If living your passion was easy, everyone would do it in a heartbeat. But when your passion is truly your purpose, you couldn’t jump off the train even if it stopped.

Let’s get it! Choo Choo (if that was corny I don’t care because I’ve earned my nerd badge damnit)!

Don’t forget to check out my Patreon page if you’re looking for a way to support my literary journey.

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Pitching a Book: Allergies, colds, and mothering…oh my!

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I am an avid believer that in life there are no excuses…except during allergy season in Atlanta, when your fighting a cold and when your a mother — there are no days off in motherhood. So, my goal of pitching to a literary agent each week in March was delayed, until last week.

Check out my Writing vlog on YouTube

That’s right, I pitched to two agents last week. That means I’ve pitched to three agents since Feb. 25 — and I’ve heard back from two already! But I’ll share those details next week.

What I want to touch on this week is what you need to do even before you begin pitching your romance, erotic, fantasy, middle grade, YA or non-fiction (and so on) masterpiece. There are levels to this pitching thang and here is what I’ve learned since I’ve started.

Query Letter

As I shared before in my post Pitching to Literary Agents: See what had happened was…, your query letter not only summarizes your novel or novella, it sells the book. Be sure to include the word count, the genre(s), the audience who would love your book and who you’re book is similar to. That last part has been hard for me because I only like certain erotic stories, and they are mostly the classics.

But, if you can relate your book to a current author or novel, be sure to mention it in your query letter.

Oh and keep this to one page because a lot of agents just want this in an email and they are not going to read anything longer.

Synopsis

This was THE HARDEST piece to pull together for me but in the end, it was worth it because it helped me find those hidden holes in my own story. Again, in the post that I shared earlier, I touched on the importance of this piece.

Yes, no one wants to give away their whole book in 2-5 pages but you must in order to give some agents a full look your storyline.

Remember: this helps them figure out any holes and as I found out, it will help you too.

The FULLL EDITED Manuscript

Originally, I shared that you should have the first three chapters ready. Now I’m changing that to having the full piece completely edited. That means peer groups, hiring an editor, and reviewing it until you want to throw it across the room or are dreaming continuously about every word, every period, hell maybe even the amount of tabs throughout (or is that just me).

This is mandatory because some agents will ask for the first 10 pages or the first three chapters or the first 20 pages or the whole damn thing!! The idea is to be prepared for whatever their request may be. It could be the difference between making the connection now or missing the boat.

We’ll folks, that all I have time for! I’ve back on a normal writing schedule working on book two in this series, and preparing for passion-fy release sooner than later (thank to everyone who voted on instagram)!

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Letting Creativity Flow

Okay passion-fy family, my words have been flowing and my motivation to push my writing and creative desires further are getting stronger and stronger by the second. And let me give a quick shout out to my personal board of directors for giving me life and tell me to quit it with the excuses. So here’s a quick download of my next steps:

Third Book is 97% Completed

I promise y’all, I thought I was finished until I uncovered another chapter in my brain dump of this novella/novel (It’s teetering closer to a novel now) but now I’m wrapping this sucker up. I plan to have this completed by mid-September so I can get it over to an editor (or two) and start pitching it by the end of September. I’m not playing folks. I can’t play anymore because I have at least four more stories dying to get out and I can barely stay focus on this one. But it’s coming I know. A two-year hiatus in publishing isn’t too bad…wait, I was published recently by Z Publishing. If you missed that news, catch up with the previous post.

YouTube Restart and Podcast Launch

I’ve been asked by several writers if I’m going to start back up on the vlogs, and the answer was yes until life happened (baby, moving, motherhood, wifin’, career change, and the list goes on). But I’m for real this time and I’m even going to partner with another fellow YouTuber to start a new channel. Videos are in progress so make sure that you’re following my channel to stay updated on the latest uploads. While you’re there, check out some of the oldies too.

Pushing the Ps: Pitching, pushing, producing

I’ve hit the producing part in the first two sections. But the other two are a bit more complicated for me. For pitching, I’m actively searching for a passionate literary agent. And I don’t someone necessarily into the topics I write about (even though that would be ideal) but someone who is as passionate about their job and role in my career as I am about writing. I’m looking for my Puff Daddy. I want my next piece to get picked up and I know that having someone like that on my team could be a career changer.

Now in regards to pushing, I’ve got to get the word out about my current and previous projects. As a writer, I’m an introvert. I like to do things behind the scene and if someone notices the final project, if not, that’s cool too…but that’s THE WRONG thought process if I want to live off of my books one day. So, to combat my¬†introvertedness (it’s a word, I promise), I’m pushing myself to not only promote my books and passion pieces more on social media and other channels but also send out copies to people who I would love to read my book — no matter how unlikely it is that they get it. Faith always has the final answer.

Stay tuned…

With passion,

DNC

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