Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rejection: An Aspiring Author's Torment

Hi all!  Yes, yes, I know it's been ages since I've posted anything, and I am very sorry (though I did say at the start of this blog that consistency wasn't really going to be a thing).  The last time I posted was November, and the beginning of NaNoWriMo.  I'll offer a quick catch-up of the last few months before we get to the actual topic of this post.  I didn't accomplish my NaNoWriMo goal this time around.  It's okay, though.  I've made peace with it.  Sort of.  Anyway, there are many reasons I didn't complete NaNoWriMo this time, the biggest one probably being that I was straight up burnt out.  I'd pushed myself to hard the preceding months re-publishing book one of The Guardians, publishing book two, and finishing the first manuscript of my new series.  All while starting a new job in a new city.  That's just an itty bitty more than one person should try to handle in such a short time, and it really effected my ability to write (and I'm still bouncing back from it).  It's all good now, though.  I've taken some down time from writing, and haven't been pushing myself as hard lately.

However, that's not really what I wanted to talk about in this post.  Today, I want to talk about something that pretty much every writer who hopes to be active within the publishing industry has or will experience.  It's something that I have been experiencing myself recently as I search for an agent to represent me.  Rejection.  Cold, bitter, soul-crushing rejection.  Let's face it, rejection, in all it's forms, sucks.  "I like you as just a friend."  "You're application is denied."  "We just didn't feel you were the best fit for this position."  "I wasn't as drawn into the story as I had hoped..."  Rejection is the WORST.  It cuts at your self-confidence, and can make you feel small and worthless.  It doesn't matter if it's not personal.  It almost always feels personal. 

Having your manuscript rejected by an agent or publisher can be one of the hardest things a writer has to endure.  When facing this daunting hurdle, though, it's really important to remember that everyone, and I mean everyone, gets rejected at one point or another.  For the vast majority of writers, rejection never happens just once.  Even New York Times bestsellers, and classic authors whose works have become staples in the literary world faced multiple (and sometimes straight up rude) rejections.

Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, was rejected by 60 agents before landing representation.

C.S. Lewis faced years of rejection before The Chronicles of Narnia became a worldwide bestseller that has been translated into 47 languages.

Agatha Christie endured 5 years of rejection before landing her first publishing deal, and now the only other literary figure in history whose works have earned more than her is William Shakespeare.

The freaking Diary of Anne Frank was rejected 16 times!  How does that even happen?!?

It wasn't until the 13th publisher that J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter was put into print and became a worldwide sensation.  And that was only because the editor's eight-year-old daughter demanded to read the rest of the book!

(For a vastly longer list of famous, bestselling stories initially rejected, check out  There's one guy listed with 121 rejections for a single book!  Also, this website is just a great resource for aspiring authors in general!)

While this puts it all into greater perspective, knowing that famous bestsellers were turned down multiple times still doesn't completely take away the sting of rejection.  It's important to remember, though, that being rejected is not personal.  I mentioned above that it almost always feels that way, but the need to reiterate this point is very important.  Agents and publishers, for the most part, reject projects that they do not think they can sell, or that will sell well.  Never forget, dear readers, writing is an art, but publishing is a business.  An extremely difficult one to get into, at that.  Publishers and agents spend a lot of time and energy buying, selling, creating, and promoting the projects they invest in, so they aren't going to invest in something they don't completely believe in.  And really, that's for the best of everyone involved.  Would you really want someone to represent you writing, work you've poured your heart and soul into, who didn't feel passionately about it?  Agents want to represent work they love, publishers want to put out work they think will succeed in the market, and writers want the writing they love to have the best chance possible of reaching people.

Here's my point in all of this: the people who are able to break into the publishing industry are those who don't give up.  They are persistent, a little stubborn, but are willing to grow and learn through their experiences.  Sometimes that means a rewrite.  Sometimes it means starting from scratch with a whole new project.  Sometimes it means believing so thoroughly in a project that you willing face rejection after rejection because you know somewhere out there is an agent and publisher who will believe in it as much as you.  Those authors who manage to snag the attention of an agent and/or publisher are the ones who can get back up when they're knocked down.  Sure, they're a little sore, a little bruised, but also wiser and tougher.  If being published is what you really, truly want, then a handful of rejections can't discourage you.

It's not easy moving from a mindset of creative artistry to one of savvy business smarts.  That's the reality all aspiring authors hoping to have even a little success in the publishing world face, however.  So, if you're ready to release your work into this selective industry, or have already started trying, just remember three things: 1. Rejection happens to everyone, 2. It's not personal, and 3. Don't give up.  Keep working, keep growing, keep improving, keep going, and someday you could see your book on the shelf.

Until next time,
E.K. Broich

Friday, November 7, 2014

National Novel Writing Month - 50,000 Words in 30 Days

The first week of NaNoWriMo has almost drawn to a close, and I have had a weak start to say the least.  50,000 words in 30 days is so many words.  The current official count is 4364, and just to save you from doing the math, I'm behind schedule.  Like, really behind.  However, I'm not throwing in the towel just yet.  Just like the last time I did this challenge (the Camp version), I will use this blog and other outlets to hold myself accountable.  It's harder to slack off on something when there are a The Fire Crystal Chronicles.  I finally finished the first book about two weeks ago (it took six months...and would have taken less time had I not refocused on The Guardians for awhile).  However, since the first book of the new series is not out among the world yet, and talking to much about book two would mean massive spoilers, I can't say a whole lot about it.
ton of people you don't want to disappoint.  This go around, I'm working on the second installment of
Why is this go around proving so difficult for me?  Well, for starters, it could be that I am now working a full time job, and have a much more set schedule than when I was a full time student with a more fluid schedule.  Don't get me wrong, I was plenty busy in grad school, but I had a lot more flexibility when it came to how I used the hours of my day outside of my classes.  With work, by the time I get home working a full day, I have housework things to do.  Plus, with my particular job working in the university setting, I often work a lot outside of my set office schedule.  Let's just be clear, I love my job, but it can be exhausting.  Sometimes, I simply don't have the energy to sit down and focus on writing at the end of the day.  I'd much rather turn my brain off and binge on Netflix.
Another possibility for why I'm struggling so much with NaNoWriMo this go around is that I'm plain and simply burnt out.  Within the last month and a half, I've edited, formatted, and published one book, and finished writing another.  That's a lot of book, and while I'm still passionate and determined to be successful as a writer, a break is probably needed soon.  Burn out happens, and it's important to recognize when it's happening in order to keep yourself from experiencing a full break down.  This is true for ANYBODY, not just for writers.  Know when you've reached your limits, and recognize when you need a break.  I know I'm going to need a break after this.  I'm going to need time to relax, recuperate, and rekindle the spark for productivity.
So, I'm not giving up, but I'm recognizing my own limitations.  Christmas break is going to be an actual break.  Stay tuned for updates on my progress, and we'll see where we stand on December 1st.

Until next time,
E.K. Broich
Something fun: Harry Potter rapping to the alphabet.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2014

IT'S HERE!!! The Guardians of Light, Book Two: The Land of Sand and Sea

So a couple of days ago, when I said give me a week or two before Book Two is officially released...turns out I didn't even need three days.  I am BEYOND happy to announce the official release of The Guardians of Light, Book Two: The Land of Sand and Sea, available in paperback and ebook (for the Kindle).  I'm so, so, SO excited to have the second installment of The Guardians trilogy complete.  It's taken several years longer than I originally had hoped to finish it, but I don't think it would be quite as put together had I released it sooner.  There are so many people to thank for helping me along the way, but my family most of all, who have been living with this for eleven years now.  I hope you all enjoy Book Two, and know that Book Three will NOT take so long to be released ;)

Click on the links below to purchase YOUR copy of Book Two, and keep an eye out for updates about Book Three, which will be coming to you in 2015. 

Amazon Paperback
Amazon Kindle

Until next time!
E.K. Broich

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Back Cover and Blurb!!

Hi all!  It's coming...we're so close!!  As promised, here is the back cover design, complete with book blurb.  We are literally just DAYS away from the release of The Guardians of Light, Book Two: The Land of Sand and Sea, so stay tuned...

The next time I write, it will be to announce Book Two's release.
Until then!
E.K. Broich