Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been

Last Thursday, I achieved one of my big dreams--I published a story with Ellora's Cave. The big EC. An erotic romance writer's Mecca. Okay, you get the picture. As thrilled as I am (and I'm really, really, really thrilled!), I'm not the kind of person who ever rest on her laurels. I'm always pushing to work--as Kanye would say--harder, better, faster, stronger. Still, I look back on the three years since I became involved with digital publishing and I can't help thinking--this time borrowing from the Grateful Dead--What a loooooong strange trip it's been.

A good friend of mine, Denyse Bridger, who also happens to be a wonderfully talented author, told me once that this business is mostly about perseverance. Looking back on what I've endured thus far, I think she's absolutely right. Yes, it takes talent, voice, flow, writing style and emotional depth. You know, all those things that rejection letters tell us our manuscripts lack *grin.* But if I gave up every time I encountered a set back, I wouldn't have the honor of working with my Ellora's Cave sisters nor would I be looking to the future with so much hope.

My advice to aspiring writers? Don't give up. Well, write as much as you can as often as you can AND don't give up :) We all get rejection letters. Take them as an opportunity to strength your writing...and thicken your skin. We've all endured the ups and downs of the emerging epub business. Take it as good experience. We've all seen our share of lackluster sales. Figuring out promo takes a little time. Heck, I'm still learning. What I do know is, that as a writer, when life gives you lemons--make whiskey sours!

So what's next? Well, I'm thoroughly thrilled that the NY Times Bestsellers List will now include digitally published material! NYT Bestsellers List here I come...I hope :) Until then, me and my lemons (and whiskey sours) will keep on keeping on.

Now it's your turn authors, share with me what frustrating, discouraging or just plain odd things you've bounced back from in your career.


Lily Harlem said...

Great post Cindy and big congrats on your new EC release!
At the beginning of my writing career a brilliant UK editor turned down my manuscript and told me to check out ERWA ( It's a great site and gives you lists of all the current calls for submissions of long and short erotic stories. There's also writing tips and info. It was an amazing bit of advice and I'd never heard of Ellora's Cave or Total-e-bound until then even though I was dabbling with erotic romance.
I think the worst set backs are when you send something off exclusive and never hear back. You spend all that time writing your cover letter etc, you don't want to be pushy. But when do you drop them a line and say 'Well? Do you like it?"
A friend of mine used to say to me when I was down - a published writer is just a writer who didn't give up - of course there are other essential elements but it's worth considering!

Cindy Jacks said...

Very true, Lily. As much as talent and voice, I think perseverance is a must-have quality for any writer!

Thanks for dropping by :)

Natalie Dae said...

Hiya Cindy!

It's like you've said, just don't give up. You never know whether, at the point in the road you gave up, something fabulous was waiting just around the corner.

Please note this is me on a good day LOL. Other times I'd grumble, "Sod whatever's around the corner!"

Yet I'm still here, keeping on. Probably always will be.

Okay, who just groaned. HAAAA!