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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Advice for New Writers by Hazel Statham

I am often asked if I have any advice for new and upcoming writers, but there are many books that can tell you far more about the craft than I can. However, there is one thing I would like to talk about and that is rejection.

For some authors, rejection is very difficult to deal with. They see it as a repudiation of their worth, but this is not necessarily the case. Just because your work is rejected does not necessarily mean that you’re a bad writer – just that your work is not suitable for that particular publishing house. What suits one doesn’t automatically suit another. For example, if you write ‘sweet’, it’s pointless submitting to a publisher who publishes only erotica. Choose which publisher you wish to submit your manuscript to and then research the type of material they are currently accepting.

Trends change and so do publishers’ needs, but trends tend to run in cycles. I write Historical Romance and am constantly being told that it’s losing popularity, but this doesn’t appear to be the case. There is still a readership out there and publishers will continue to provide for their demands. Therefore, I seek out publishers who are actively accepting that particular genre.

My advice is to write what you know and care about, otherwise the results could disappoint both yourself and your readers. You have to love what you write so that your readers will too. Don’t be discouraged by rejection, write what is closest to your heart and enjoy the process. Soon you will reap the rewards of perseverance.


Hazel is the author of My Dearest Friend. You can find out more about Hazel and her books here.

8 comments:

Sun Singer said...

Good advice! Writing what one cares about is, to me, more important than worrying about the book's ultimate publication.

Malcolm

Anonymous said...

Great advice, Hazel. What does one do, other than work on the story, do when they are writing about the things they are passionate about but conintues to get rejected?

Thanks againg for sharing your advice with us.

Hazel said...

I totally agree. Many would say, write for the current market, but if you don't enjoy the process, it will show in your work. I read a book by a well-known author recently that had obviously been written to a formula, and it showed.

Hazel

Hazel said...

Again I would say, search out publishers who are actively accepting you genre. If you still receive rejections, and each one comes with the same comment, take on board what they are saying as that is obviously where the problem lies. You can still write within your chosen genre without compromising the integrity of you work.

Hazel

Hazel said...

Sorry, that answer sounds garbled - what I really meant to say was that it could be a technical problem that is causing the rejections. If you receive the same comment time after time, ask an impartial critique partner to go over it to help define the problem. It may be something that can easily be put right.

Hazel

Deb said...

What I wonder is, why do the publishers & agents keep telling us historical is a hard sell, and then keep buying and releasing it? Is it just MY historical won't sell, or are they trying to make nice? Seems they DO want other people's historicals. Though in my niche market (Christian fiction), they all seem to be bonnet-books. Sigh.

Will dream big! Will break the ice-jam! Will sell book!

Hazel said...

I think someone forgot to tell the buying public that historicals don't sell. There is still a market out there and whilst there is, publishers are bound to fill it. Historicals may not be the current 'trend', but trends come and go and the staple always remain. They may not be big sellers at the moment, but those faithful to the genre still continue to buy our books. We just have to persevere and remember that what goes around, comes around. With each generation of readers, there will always be new readers of the genre and we are here to fulfill their requirements.

Regards

Hazel

Hazel said...

Just wanted to add a final comment. I went to take copies of my books to the city library today. They had asked me to place the order for them as they were having problems with their supplier. I spoke to the acquisition manager who told me that there is a dearth of good historical authors at the moment and the public is complaining about the shortage of books. This is from the 'horses mouth' so to speak, and tells it all. Historicals loosing popularity? No! Never! It's time the publishers sat up and took notice as readers will not be told what they should be reading.

Just my two 'penneth worth, but it's what I firmly believe.

Regards

Hazel