Most of us have a book hidden somewhere – complete, incomplete, an alien time travel set during the Russian Revolution someone said would never sell.
So what do you do with such a book? I could remind you of books like The Help (rejected 60 times), or Chicken Soup for the Soul (144 rejections) and you may have heard of Harry Potter (12 rejections). These were books that did not fit the mainstream at the time, and now the literary world could not imagine being without them.
What does that mean for you, writer of the alien time travel? It means you don’t give up the book of your heart. Publishing is as much about the right book as it is about the right time. Shortly after the tragic death of Princess Diana, I heard that an author had her book pulled from the publisher. It’s planned title? The Princess and the Paparazzi. The book was later rewritten and published under a new title.
Every book has someone standing behind it, someone who believes in it. That may only be you, the writer, but you are the most important advocate for your work. Finding an agent or editor that believes in the work may take effort but that doesn’t mean the right editor or agent doesn’t exist.
And of course, there’s the self-publishing route. Social media today makes it possible to build the hype, spread the word, and get sales that make writing and publishing doable, even without a publisher or agent.
The main point is never give up on your work, even if it’s hidden under your bed.