Heather Townsend's Journey to Authorship: Part 10
by Heather Townsend
The Efficiency Coach
The first rejection...
It was all going too well. Everyone was being so positive about the concept for my book and the first sample chapter. And then, wham, my first rejection.
I’ll admit it hurt. If I’m honest, it wasn’t even a rejection, but some fairly brutal feedback from a potential publisher. The chemistry with the publisher seemed to be going great, and then came the immortal words:
“Frankly, we are not great fans of many business books - we are only in this sector to make money.”
And the line which really hurt:
“Your English is not great.”
It was at this point, that I realised a couple of things. One, I still take negative feedback badly. Two, this publisher is not the one for me – I need someone who loves publishing business books. Three, if the quality of my English is not great, what hope is there for a lot of would-be authors? (If you want to see for yourself whether you think the publisher is right, pre-register to have the option of buying one of the first copies of the book, and I will send you free sample chapters when they become available).
Whilst you, as the author, may be totally immersed in your book, it is worth remembering that publishers have a commercial role to play. It doesn’t matter to them if you have sweated blood, sweat and tears to get the book written. They will only take on your book if they feel that there is money to be made out of the book. This is the reality of the world I am entering into as a would-be first author.
So, where do I go from here? Luckily, I have two potential publishers waiting in the wings, and this time, I will be savvier how I approach them. My mistake with the 1st publisher was to let them see a sample chapter which needed more structure and some careful editing from my book editor. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I’ve asked my book-editor, Sonja Jefferson, to put the structure into the chapters I am writing. This may sound like a cop out, but it’s what she is good at, and what would drive me bonkers. It sounds simplistic but,
- I just want to write.
- I’ve now got to get on with writing up a great case study of a BNI director, and start the chapters on ‘Before the Networking Event’ and ‘After the Networking Event’.
In my next instalment, hopefully I will have some more news on how the conversations with two other publishers are going.