May 24

Can You Still Get a Book Deal?

A couple of years ago, I read an interesting article over at Books and Such titled, “Meaning of Persistence.”

I’ve written about this topic before. The writer who perseveres is the one who becomes traditionally published.

With the ever-increasing ease of self-publishing, A LOT of authors are foregoing the traditional path for one that’s easier and much quicker, albeit the more expense path.

Another reason authors, especially new ones, take the self-publishing road is because of the difficulty in getting a traditional contract. This difficulty is amplified if the author is trying for the Big 5 (the five major publishers).

Okay, back to the article at Books and Such. The gist of the article is that if new authors weren’t getting book deals then why would agents still accept queries?

The same goes for book publishers.

This is not to say the road won’t be littered with rejections, time, and effort. But, it’s possible.

Even before the pandemic, the number of aspiring authors was increasing. While I don’t have statistics for the current pandemic time, they’ve got to be skyrocketing.

Why do I feel this way?

Books sales are increasing.

More and more people have time on their hands and their dreams of becoming a published author have jumped into the foreground.

I know this to be true because as a children’s ghostwriter, I’ve gotten many more queries in April and May than I have in those months from prior years.

Now, if the number of people seeking ghostwriters has increased, it only follows suit that people who want traditional publishing contracts is increasing.

The problem that arose pre-pandemic, is there were just so many publishing contracts available for new authors. The number of authors submitting queries for those contracts was growing.

Bring that up to today, you’re looking at smaller staffs due to illness and social distancing and an even larger number of new authors seeking those contracts.

So yes, getting a traditional publishing contract is getting more difficult. Keep in mind also that new authors are a bigger financial risk for agents and publishers, so they are cautious.

But, as I love to say, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

If you’re persistent and keep researching agents and publishers who are accepting manuscripts in the genre you’re writing, and keep submitting, you just never know.

Chicken Soup for the Soul had a rough road. The authors, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, had 144 rejections before they got a contract with a small publisher in Florida.

This is where perseverance comes in. What if they gave up at 100 rejections or 130?

Even is you get 200 rejections, keep going. It’s a struggle, but keep on keeping on.

What to do while you’re researching, submitting, and waiting?

If you keep getting rejections, you might reevaluate your manuscript. Do research on the type of books that are getting contracts in your genre.

You might join a critique group. Having those extra set of eyes is an amazing help.

You might also let a professional editor in the genre you write review your book.

If your book is good to go, just keep submitting and while you’re waiting, start another book.


Children's ghostwriter

Let me take a look at your notes, outline, or draft. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach. I can turn your story into a book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Send me an email at: (please put Children’s Ghostwriter in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Let’s get your story in publishable shape today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

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Jun 05

The Path to Writing Success – Focus, Determination, and Perseverance

Writing Path to SuccessFocus, determination, and perseverance are essential to just about every aspect of your life. Each characteristic is unique and together create a powerful synergy.

Focus is one’s ability to concentrate exclusively on a particular thing through effort or attention.

Determination is an unchanging intention to achieve a goal or desired end.

Perseverance takes determination a step beyond by using steady and ongoing actions over a long period of time to ensure its intention is accomplished. It continues on through ups and downs.

These elements combined with positive thinking and projection can be an unstoppable force.

I’m a huge fan of positive thinking and projection. I believe our mind has a great influence over our well-being and the direction our life can take. Granted, it’s not always easy to harness that influence, but there is enough content out there, including The Secret, to at least strive to think positive and project.

For example, Jack Canfield and co-creator Mark Victor Hansen, of Chicken Soup for the Soul, were rejected 144 times from publishers. Finally, in 1993, their book was accepted. Since they were in debt and couldn’t afford a publicist, they did their own promotion. In 1995, they won the Abby Award and the Southern California Publicist Award.

In a teleconference I attended with Jack Canfield as the speaker, he said he and his co-author created vision boards of what they wanted. They even took a copy of the New York Times Best Selling Page, whited out the #1 spot, and replaced it with Chicken Soup for the Soul. They put copies of it everywhere, even in the toilet. They had focus, determination, perseverance, and they envisioned and projected success. The rest is history.

On a much smaller scale, my daughter Robyn, practices the philosophy of The Secret. For ten years she dreamed of being in the audience of the Oprah show. She actually got tickets twice, but for one reason or another she was unable to attend. It didn’t stop her though; she persevered and kept trying. She knew one day she’d accomplish her goal and she did. She attended O’s 10 Anniversary celebration in New York City.

She even got her picture taken. You can check it out at (she’s on the right):

So, what has this to do with you as a writer? Plenty.

The elements for obtaining your goals are the same whether for business, marketing, life, or writing. Just about every writer has heard the adage: it’s not necessarily the best writers who succeed, it’s the writers who persevere.

Be focused and determined on your writing goals. Have a ‘success’ mindset. This means to project success, along with taking all the necessary steps to becoming a successful and effective writer. And, don’t let rejection stop you – persevere.

To reinforce the need for perseverance, here’s a great article from LitHub that lists a number of other famous authors who had their share of rejection: The Most Rejected Books of All Time


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Need help with your story?

Let me take a look at it. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and editor. I can turn your story into a publishable book you’ll be proud to be the author of.

Shoot me an email at: (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700.

Apr 17

How Do You Build a Successful Writing Career? (3 Tips)

How do you build a writing career?

Writers need to be tough. It’s not an easy arena to be in. Did you know that writers get so many rejections there have actually been studies done on it. According to a Huffington Post article, “96% of authors seeking agents are rejected.” (1)

That’s pretty severe.

Another article at Writer’s Digest says, “don’t even think about giving up until you’ve queried at least one hundred agents.” (2).

But, what if Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen gave up after 100 rejections. They were rejected 144 times before landing a publishing contract.
So, how does a writer become successful?

Well, there are at least 3 characteristics that go a long way in giving a writer a fighting chance.

1. Perseverance.

Perseverance is probably the single most important factor.  You can learn to write. You can improve your writing. You can submit you work more often. But, if you get discouraged when successes don’t come as fast as you’d like or expected, you may start writing less, you may give up.

This is where you need to persevere. Know that it’s not the best writers who succeed, it’ those who persevere.

From personal experience I can attest to this. I work in two niches. I did it for years with not much success. Then suddenly, clients began finding me and hiring me in one of those niches.

More often than not, success is just around the corner. You’ve got to persevere.

2. You MUST set goals.

While perseverance is an essential factor in writing success, without setting goals, what are you persevering toward? You need to be a goal setter.

Your goals need to be specific. What do you really want to succeed at?

  • Getting ongoing publishing contracts.
  • Getting freelance writing projects on a regular basis.
  • Supplementing your income.
  • Earning $50,000 per year. Earning $100,000 per year. Earning $500,000 per year. Being a millionaire.
  • Becoming a New York Times Best Seller.
  • Becoming famous.

I found it more tangible to create monthly income goals rather than yearly ones.

You need to find what your goals are and what strategy to use to obtain them. And, you need to make those goals visible. Create a vision board or write them down and read them every day.

3. Focus

One big pitfall in writing is not having focus.

I mentioned earlier that after years of struggling along, I began to get clients on a regular basis. And, I’ve gotten lots of return and series clients.

One important factor how this came about is I began to focus on one writing niche. I devoted the majority of my time and energy in that area and it paid off.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have more than one writing niche, but if you want to succeed in something, you need to prioritize. You need to focus.

As my writing coach would say, focus on what’s making you money.

Get to work building these three characteristics and see if it doesn’t make a difference. And, let us know how you make out.



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Need Help With Your Story

Let me take a look at it. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and editor. I can turn your story into a publishable and saleable book.

Shoot me an email at: (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700