Thursday, May 2, 2013

Please Welcome Guest Rose Ross Zediker



Writer’s Go Green!

As private citizens we are all socially conscious separating our glass, aluminum, and plastic into the appropriate recycling bins. Happily, we sit the recycling container on the curb on the designed day, knowing we are making a difference by going green.


However, as a writer are you doing the same?  Are you recycling your work?


We’ve all heard the adage, research your target market, tailor your manuscript to fit the publishers specific need and you have a higher chance of publication. I believe this adage is true but what happens when you’ve do all of that and all you gain is another rejection?


Like that plastic water bottle or an empty soup can you throw in your recycling bin, you need to recycle  that manuscript to fit another market. 


I decided to target a publisher who likes their books set in towns with unique names.  I found just the town in South Dakota. Faith. It worked perfect. After doing extensive research, I discovered that the town of Faith had an interesting historical and contemporary history. That gave me two shots at placing a manuscript with that publisher. So, I brainstormed and wrote up two proposals. It took three months for a rejection on the historical proposal. Then I submitted the contemporary idea. That rejection took a mere twenty-four hours(you’ve just got to love email!).


I really liked both story ideas and when Harlequin opened up submissions for Heartsong Presents, I immediately thought of these two proposals and what I could do to make them fit the Heartsong Presents word count guidelines.  Here’s what I came up with:


·         I pondered if the 80,000 word manuscript could become a two book series using a secondary character from the first book as the hero/heroine in the second book. Mine couldn’t but that doesn’t mean yours can’t!


·         I looked for sub-plots that weren’t necessary to the hero/heroine’s journey or the overall story arc and cut them.


·         I pared down secondary character’s importance in the hero/heroine’s journey.


·         I gave them each one major problem to overcome and one thing in common.


·         I revised the opening from establishing the setting to the hero/heroine meeting by the second page of the manuscript weaving in the setting later in the chapter to fit the new publisher’s guidelines.


·         I changed the ending of the contemporary story. I wanted the hero to chase down the heroine when she left town (you know like they do in movies) to declare his love but with fewer total words, he had to stay put in Faith.


My efforts resulted in two contracts. The contemporary book, Wedding on the Rocks, releases in May 2013. The historical, Living in Faith, is contracted and set to release in February 2014.


By recycling your work after a rejection, you may earn an acceptance and carry your “green” all the way to the bank!


***


I’m giving away one copy of my May release, Wedding on the Rocks. Leave a comment to be entered!


Wedding on the Rocks

JENNIFER EDWARDS IS BACK HOME AGAIN...


When she traded small-town life for the bright lights of Chicago, Jennifer Edwards yearned to discover a world beyond Faith, South Dakota. So when her father's illness calls her home to run their cattle ranch, she tells herself it's temporary. Then why is she even thinking about a future with archaeology professor Brett Lange-the boy she left behind-whose life's work is digging up the past?

Twelve years ago, Brett had a crush on Jennifer the size of the T-rex that put his hometown on the map. Now she's a citified magazine editor who prefers designer duds to dungarees. Except that's not the real Jennifer. Brett needs to make her see how a little faith can go a long way in uniting two perfectly-in-sync hearts.


Bio:

Wedding on the Rocks is Rose Ross Zediker’s fourth Heartsong Presents book, and is under contract for two more with release dates in 2014. Barbour Publishing is releasing her quilting series as a three in one in late 2014.

Rose lives in rural Elk Point, SD with her husband of thirty-one years. Their son and daughter-in-law blessed them with two beautiful granddaughters. Rose works full time at the University of South Dakota and writes during the evening or weekends. Some of her pastimes include reading, sewing, embroidery, quilting and spoiling her granddaughters.
Find Rose online: http://roserosszediker.blogspot.com/



146 comments:

Helen Gray said...

The coffee pot is ready.

Thanks for the insights, Rose.

Actually, I've just finished a series with creation history along some of these lines.

Looking forward to reading Wedding on the Rocks.

Helen

Tina Radcliffe said...

WELCOME BACK, ROSE!!!


This is just pure economical writer genius.

Marianne Barkman said...

Oh RoseI would,love to be a reviewer for you! Do you sometimes wonder if starting from scratch would be easier....like building new instead of redoing an ld house? Please put my name in the draw for Wedding on the Rocks. Thanks

Helen, good coffee thanks

Annie Rains said...

Thanks for today's post, Rose! I have alot of rejections I'd love to carry to the bank :) It's wonderful how you kept your story from being pushed under the bed and molded it to fit the market.

Debra E. Marvin said...

oooh, Rose,you are so smart!I think we must both 'write the book of our heart' and then make a concerted effort to target a place in the market. I love how you made this two stories, and that work paid off!

Happy Thursday everyone! YAY, it's MAY!

Jackie said...

Good morning,

I like your idea about recycling our stories. It sounds like I need to study the market better and see what I can come up with.

Thanks, Rose.

Wedding on the Rocks sounds like a great story. Thanks for sharing today.

Jackie L.

Rose said...

Helen,

I need strong coffee this morning, thanks for brewing it for us!

Rose said...

Tina,

Thanks for having me back!

I wouldn't call it genius, but I have recycled my writing for years to gain acceptances.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Rose! I love the idea of "recyling"! I've done that myself and know a number of other Seekers who have, as well. Why let a wonderful story idea languish under the bed or in a dark corner of the closet when you can do a little redesigning and breathe new life into it!? Thank you for the reminder!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to post side of Seekerville, Rose. Impressed how you recyled rejected stories and found success! I have a couple I'm letting brew until I submit my wip.

I'm a fan of leftovers. Love knowing I don't have to cook. That the food is ready, paid for and not wasted. Often a dish tastes better the second day. Love the idea of leftover books, too. Not that they don't require some work, but nothing compared to starting from scratch.

Wedding on the Rocks is a fun title. The story sounds terrific! Congratualations!

Janet

Rose said...

Marianne,

Since I prefer the revision work on writing over the creation, I find it easier to rebuild.

In both of these instances, the books were in the proposal stage so all I had to do is tweak the synopsis and sample chapters, not the entire book.

Rose said...

Thanks, Annie.

It's never too late to start reslanting your work.

Rose said...

Deb M.

You couldn't tell it's May where I live...we had another snow event yesterday and the high today will be 52 degrees.

I'm thinking that my tulips will suffer this year because of it.

Targeting your writing to a market is very important and helps you get out of the 'slush pile'.

Do they still use that writing term or is it 'slush email' now?

Rose said...

Jackie,

Studying your target market and their guidelines, then revising your work to fit their needs/word count, etc., really does give your manuscript a step up after you submit.

Rose said...

Good Morning, Glynna,

You are so right, why let a good story languish on computer files when all we need to do is apply a little 'elbow grease' to tweak it.

Rose said...

Janet,

I totally agree, tweaking a story is better than starting from scratch.

I'm glad you like my title. When you read the story you'll find it's a play on words.

Rose said...

Good Morning, Everyone,

I have to leave for the day job in a few minutes but I hope everyone continues to have conversations about recycling your work.

I'll be back tonight to comment or answer any questions.

Linda Glaz said...

Great post and super advice, Rose!

Missy Tippens said...

Rose, welcome back! Thanks so much for this great post! I love how you're calling this recycling. :) I've taken a rejected proposal and have been re-writing it as a YA. Since it wasn't a complete mss, I've basically had to change everything. I did keep the characters, made them younger, and saved the opening scene (which I've always loved). Everything else changed. But I still feel like I'm recycling. :)

Jane Heitman Healy said...

Good advice, Rose. Thanks for walking us through your process, and congratulations on your success!

Patty Wysong said...

What a great way of thinking about it, Rose! And I LOVE your title. LOVE IT. =]

Jeanne T said...

Rose, what great advice! Thanks for giving ideas on how you can recycle rejections.

I haven't done a lot of this yet, so I'll ask you how you do it. How do you study the market? How do you determine what kinds of stories are working in different genres? Do you go to publisher's websites? I need to do some research and I'm not sure where to begin. :)

And Rose, we had snow too, with a predicted high of 44 today.

Thanks for sharing this fabulous idea!

Lisa Lickel said...

Excellent list of how-tos, Rose. Thanks for sharing your experience and advice.

CatMom said...

Thanks for this post today, Rose (and CONGRATS on your writing success!).

You've shown us that stories CAN be "recycled" and end up in the right home. *smile*

No need to enter me in your drawing, as I'm in the Heartsong book club and receive the books each month (and LOVE them).

Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

Cindy Regnier said...

It's a wonder I don't have green eyes and hair as many times as I've recycled some of my stories. Thanks, Rose. Great article. I can so identify. I second Jeanne's question - how does one "know" what type of books a publisher REALLY seeks out?

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning Rose, Welcome back to Seekerville. Glad to hear you were able to sell the manuscript ideas after all. Congrats on your new releases.

Have fun today in Seekerville.

Brenda Anderson said...

Wow. I'm in awe of your flexibility & your dedication, Rose! I don't know that I could take a manuscript & redo it.

Congratulations on your upcoming release! I can't wait to read it. :)

Connie Queen said...

Rose,

I've planned re-writes of current wip's if they don't work like they are. The people are too real for me to shove in a drawer. The way they're written is my favorite way, but if I have to change it, I will.

And two stories out of one? Brilliant.

Davalyn Spencer said...

What a great post, Rose. Clearly stated, clever, and encouraging. It goes in my "how-to" file!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Rose, what a stellar idea! I love that you're doing these HP's as a unit... I thought Love Inspired's way of doing that in a continuity was sheer genius a few years ago... to have the historicals represent the older generation in their era and then the bleed-through to the current day books... I think that was the "After the Storm" continuity and it made the continuity flow over a century of time and kept the whole series of stories strong and organic from the core. This is such a great idea!!!!

Thank you for being here today, Schnookums..... I've got a few strictly writing days right now and I'm forging ahead in my WIP and this is just a wonderful eye-opener for how to keep a manuscript open for suggestion and growth.

LOVE IT!!!

Hey, I've got Panera Danish for breakfast... YUM.

:) Helen, thank you for the coffee...

Patty Wysong, where have you been????? Good to see you!

Hey, my editor's best advice about what a "line" or publisher wants?

Read the newest authors they're contracting.

That doesn't mean the established authors aren't solid, it means that they might be embracing something different... and that fresh voice could be yours.

Read the lines, read the lines, read the lines. There really are no shortcuts in this biz, not generally anyway.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Rose,

Wonderful concept! Every writer has those dusty books under the bed. Sometimes it's more work to revise an old one than to start fresh, but if the story is near and dear to your heart, it is worth it!

Put me in the draw! Love the cover of your book, btw!

Cheers,
Sue
sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Jan Drexler said...

Rose! I've always loved the name of that town: Faith. Doesn't it sound like a place you'd want to live?

And you've come over to the dark side...Faith is in West River, you know!

And what a fun thing to do both a contemporary and an historical in the same town! Did you use characters from the same families, but different generations?

Congrats on your contracts :)

Ruth Tredway said...

Rose,
I love the way you broke it down- this is a "show - don't tell" list of things to look for when recycling a story. Thanks so much.
Helen, I've got my yerba mate, so no coffee for me, but thanks for bringing it.
Please enter me for the drawing.

Debby Giusti said...

Rose,

Great info today about recycling our prose. Fantastic! Nothing should be discarded. Nothing is wasted. Sometimes we don't know if the words will appear in print, but we improve as we write and creating the rejected story helps us move forward. It's a building process.

As you mentioned, if we're lucky, we can recycle a story, or two, as you have done.

Congrats! So excited for you.

Sherida Stewart said...

Hi, Rose! Since I've seen your picture with comments in Seekerville, it's good to get to know you better with your post today. I stopped over at your blog...the three-in-one release of your books in 2014 sounds great!

Please enter me in the drawing for Marriage on the Rocks.

I enjoyed reading how you make adjustments to be able to use rejections. I need to make my Speedbo manuscript LONGER. I'll try REVERSING your ideas for paring down...that just may work....or I'll put novellas together to make one book. Thanks for getting my brain moving!

Congrats on the upcoming additional releases!

Playground Monitor said...

Hey Seekers! Sorry I've been absent. I've had a contagious eye infection all week and have been dealing with that. I get one more day off work and go back tomorrow. I see the eye doc again Tuesday (saw him Monday and yesterday)and hopefully everything will be cured.

The two projects I'm working on now are recycled. My SpeedBo novella was originally supposed to be a 55K short contemporary. The short story I'm almost ready to submit was sent (and pulled back from) a magazine and was only 5700 words. I's closing in on 9K now.

I hate to have any writing go to waste so I'm trying your recycle approach. Sometimes I think it's harder to revise something old than to write something new from scratch, but I've enjoyed the challenge and learned from it.

Marilyn

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome to Linda Glaz, Jane Heitman Healy, Davalyn Spencer, Brenda Anderson and Lisa Lickel.

Have a cupp of your favorite beverage and make yourself at home.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Patty Wysong!!!! You have been missed. How is Esther??

Merrie Hansen said...

Thanks for sharing the back story of how these two books survived rejections. I love how were able to use both ideas and develop two books. Excited to read them both. God bless.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Marilyn, you know you're right that it can actually be harder to recycle....

Especially if you keep some of the original intact and then bridge to it by writing around it.

The positive spin on that is that you'll have editors ask you to do that ALL THE TIME.... and then you do it, so going at it with Rose's direction and mindset??? What a great practice arena, right?

Where's Connealy today?

I've got no one to hardly make fun of....

It's kinda takin' the joy out of livin'. The blush off the rose...

Luckily I brought chocolate which always makes me feel better!!!

:)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Marilyn, so good to see your smiling Playground Monitor face. Glad you're feeling better.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hi Merrie Hansen and welcome to Seekerville.

Debby Giusti said...

Marilyn,
Glad you're better. Eye infections are scary. Prayers for continued healing!

Debby Giusti said...

Grabbing some of Ruthy's chocolate before I get back to work.

BTW, Ausjenny is starting her long trip to the US today! Sending safe travel prayers her way. Prayers that she can sleep en route, as well.

Keli Gwyn said...

Congratulations on your HP releases, Rose. I love how you turned one story that didn't sell into two that did.

As the wife of a science teacher and a person who embraced recycling back in the early 90s while living in environmentally minded Germany, I learned the importance of recycling and have been a faithful recycler ever since.

I recycle my stories as well. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, is a recycled version of a story I wrote when I was a florescent green newbie. I recently recycled one of my 2008 GH stories. I used the setting, time period, two minor characters, and a few scenes, but the main characters and major storyline are new. I'm working on a recycled version of my other 2008 GH story now. I like the setting and hero's occupation, but the main characters and plot line needed a lot of work. I'm having fun making that old lackluster story fresh and new. Ah, yes! The joys of recycling stories are many.

Lorna said...

Rose, your ability to meet the needs of a publisher always amaze me. You are a master at adjusting to what the "client" asks for.

So excited about your HP releases! Sending hugs your way!

Mary Connealy said...

ROSE!!!!!!!!!
Sorry to be so slow stopping in.
I have been WRITING!!!!!!!!!

Which is what I'm supposed to be doing, right?

I really believe in those manuscripts, even the ones so many of us say, 'are under the bed and will never see the light of day' are stories.
Maybe you wrote something so odd and off the way it's impossible to publish, but MAYBE you told a good story, but you didn't tell it well. Look at old manuscripts. Can you bring your shiny new and improved author skills to them. Can you tell a good story BETTER.

Don't give up on those old stories.

Audra Harders said...

I love recycling old ideas! Why let great brain power go to waste? With so many publishers wanting different elements in a story,adding and subtracting from an already solid story idea is very doable.

Maybe not easy. But definitley doable.

Great reminder, Rose!!

Julie Lessman said...

ROSE, YOU BRILLIANT THING, YOU -- EXCELLENT POST!!! And sooooo very smart, my friend!! SUPER CONGRATS in the two contracts -- YOU ROCK!!

LOVE the breakdown on what you did to recycle -- wish I had some old books to do the same. :(

Hugs,
Julie

Erica Vetsch said...

Hi, Rose! I love that you were flexible enough to repurpose an old idea and tailor it to another publisher. Brilliant!

I shall have to cull my own archives for some "green" ideas. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

It's kind of fun to go into the archives of our own work, isn't it. To read something you wrote a while back and be totally immodest and shamelessly love your own writing.

LOL.

Pam Hillman said...

Oh, yeah, Rose, recycling manuscripts is my middle name! lol

Stealing Jake (Tyndale 2011) and Claiming Mariah (Tyndale 2013) both went through multiple rewrites in multiple formats targeted toward various houses.

The most amazing thing is that both of them were originally written and targeted toward Tyndale's Heartquest line years ago.

The biggest rewrite I did was when Summerside came out with the Love Finds You line, I moved one of my stories from Montana to Wyoming, and plopped it down in Bitter Creek, Wyoming, changed some plot points, and submitted it.

And once Mary, Cara and I combed through our existing stories, paired up 3 ideas that worked well together, rewrote the proposals and submitted them to Barbour for state anthology. It's a lot of fun to do stuff like that, and it really jump starts your creativity...big time!

Myra Johnson said...

Rose, what great ideas for recycling unsold manuscripts! It really is so hard to let favorite characters and plot ideas lie dormant. I've tried to breathe new life into several of my manuscripts, sometimes with success, other times . . . not so much.

I did sell my first Heartsong by changing the setting from Texas to Missouri to take advantage of an "available" state when they were doing the state series. Also had to pare it down by 10-15K or so. Proof it CAN be done!

And how fun that you were able to turn your story into not one but two salable manuscripts! Congratulations!

Vince said...

Hi Rose:

Recycling is a great idea.

Most nonfiction freelancers have to do this just to survive. It’s called multi-use research. When you visualize writing a story, you, at the same time, visualize how many markets there are to place stories that can be written by using that same research. This requires keeping up with many markets for nonfiction stories. But the synergy it creates can spell survival.

You’ve made me think of doing this for fiction as well.

Tina writes shorts for “Woman’s World” and they pay very well. Perhaps some event in your novel would make a good short or even a short-short. Perhaps, with changes, a chapter would make a good 3000 word story for a woman’s magazine. (How about that wonderful chapter that you had to cut becuase it didn't belong in your current novel?) Some parts of your WIP might even make good humor shorts.

One might call doing this ‘WIP mining’! Of course, doing this requires really knowing the fiction marketplace but learning that could put food on the table while you’re waiting for the ‘call’. (Besides,I’m sure Tina could whip up a blog on all these markets by the next WE).

Perhaps we need to think of ourselves as more than just novelists. How about being a writer who makes money writing! (At least, that's a novel idea.☺)

Vince

P.S. Please put me down for a chance to win a digital version of your book. Heartsong Presents and Harlequin Medical Romances are my favorite length romances. You get the same great HEA feeling as you get in a longer book but you can enjoy more of them a year! That’s effective 'HEA mining'.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Re-purposing is totally a wonderful way to generate revenue for non fiction and fiction markets where the only rights purchased are FIRST North American serial rights.

As soon as the article or short is published the rights revert back and you can re-purpose away.

Yes. Vince. You are spot on!!!

Pam Hillman said...

Marianne said: Do you sometimes wonder if starting from scratch would be easier...

Marianne, maybe the answer is different for a writer who loves the brainstorming/creation process vs. one who loves the rewriting process.

Myra Johnson said...

When I was doing magazine writing, I sold second or reprint rights to several of my pieces. Definitely a nice way to generate a little extra income for a short story or article that's already been published. This works well when you can sell to noncompeting publications.

Debby Giusti said...

Vince, I didn't know you liked HQ Medicals. Wish they were marketed in the US...other than online.

When I freelanced, I tried to make the research stretch for more than one article or publication. Haven't thought about writing fiction that way, but you're right that it makes sense.

Rose and Vince! You're a great team! :) I'll add Tina into the mix.

Anymore WW stories in the works, Tina?

Tina Radcliffe said...

Since Rose is at work I am going to give my input on this..and please if anyone else has suggestions..JUMP IN.

Jeanne T said: I haven't done a lot of this yet, so I'll ask you how you do it. How do you study the market? How do you determine what kinds of stories are working in different genres? Do you go to publisher's websites? I need to do some research and I'm not sure where to begin.

Here are ways to keep an eye on the market: Keep in mind that I keep my eye on CBA and ABA as I believe there will be more and more crossover in the future.

You have to know what's selling and what editors and agents are talking about and looking for.

While everything in the industry is always skewed by at least a year you still get very valuable insight from these things.

1. Subscribe to Publishers Marketplace.

2. Read Publishers Weekly.

3. Follow agents and editors on Twitter.

4. Keep an eye on Sarah Weinman.
http://offonatangent.tumblr.com/

5.Yes. For sure often check out publisher websites and blogs for updated guidelines and for any inkling of news.

6. Conferences: Publisher Spotlights. It's really best to go to conferences that allow you to attend several back to back or get the CDs. This is often where they reveal what's coming up and launch new lines.

7. Keep an eye on self published best seller list on GalleyCat. It comes out weekly.

8. In fact peruse the CBA and ABA best seller lists weekly. For the CBA bookmark-http://www.christianretailing.com/


Tina Radcliffe said...

We'll see with WW. I have sent out three so far this year and have rec'd one rejection with a lovely letter from the editor I may have to frame.

Don't you just love good rejection letters?

Jeanne T said...

TINA--thank you. Your tips are invaluable. :)

Debby Giusti said...

A "good" rejection from WW is like gold and should be valued!!!

Fingers crossed for the other two stories. I'd love to read them in print.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I noticed the CBA Bestseller list link isn't working on Christian Retailing.

This one does.

http://www.cbaonline.org/nm/BSLs.htm

Debby Giusti said...

Tina, great advice on how to watch the market. I cut and pasted and saved. Thank you!

Now, do tell, why is Sarah Weinman a person of interest?

Lyndee H said...

Hi Rose. Enjoyed the post and reminder to re-purpose our work. Excellent advice.

I was hoping Heartsongs would come to my stores. It's hard to find them anywhere but online. Sigh...

Debby Giusti said...

Waving to Lyndee!

I so enjoyed being with you last weekend. I keep thinking of Barbara Vey's delightful luncheon and how wonderful it was to see you there.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I am seeing Heartsongs at Walmart. That's an excellent start.

Missy Tippens said...

I've definitely learned a lot following editors on Twitter!

Though I subscribe to PW emails, I also just bought my first magazine copy. I look forward to reading it.

Thanks for the suggestions, Tina!

Lyndee H said...

Hi Debby! It was SO much fun. And you are such a gracious hostess. I've penciled in next year and I'm trying to figure out how to get my mother-in-law out here to attend because she reads Debbie Macomber and is an avid knitter, so I think she'd love it. I plan on hooking her into your books when she visits us this summer!

Tina, I WISH I found Heartsongs at Walmart! I keep looking and ASKING for them, but knowing that they are out there in stores will help me push our local store to get with the program! ;)

Sherida Stewart said...

Thank you, Tina, for your ideas in answering Jeanne's good question on how to study the market. I follow some editors, but will use the other ideas. What is WW?

And following Myra's comment about selling a previously published story....I had a story published and was told the rights returned to me after 6 months and if it was published again, "they" said I needed to mention where it had been published first. So a couple of questions: Would some other publishers be interested in printing a story that is already published? And if so, am I "allowed" to make some tiny changes to make the story better? An ah-ha moment...I thought of self-publishing my story at some point, but didn't think of marketing to another publication! Thank you!

Sherida Stewart said...

Oh, I found Ruthy's The Lawman's Second Chance at the local Walmart today! Yay!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ha ha. Not Weight Watchers.

Woman's World. I've sold 7 stories to them. Here is some info.

WW

Tina Radcliffe said...

It's good practice with FICTION pieces to say where it first appeared.Don't want to irritate editors.

If you change it significantly I say that a version appeared xx first.

Of course you can update and revise to make it better. It's YOUR story.

Sherida Stewart said...

Thanks...for all answers to my questions, Tina!

Debby Giusti said...

How special, Lyndee, if your mil could attend next year!

My Walmart doesn't carry Heartsongs...yet! I need to talk to someone. All our local grocers used to stock LI, LIS and LIH. Now none of them do so I have to rely on Walmart.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tina, that's a great list of where-to-gos to keep an eye on the market.

I think some of that depends on computer time. Mine is limited with day job so studying markets online isn't as easy. I resent having to spend my writing time on studying markets...I know, I'm a BIG FAT BABY!!!! WHAAAA!!! WHAAAAAA!!!!! WHAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

But I realize that's a choice I make and before I was published, I studied everything I could get my hands on to see who published the kind of thing I like to read. Sometimes it was ABA, sometimes it was CBA, and then you'd have a Lisa Wingate NAL or a Jan Karon "Mitford" book that kept a foot firmly in both playgrounds.

While that might seem like much help from me, the idea of studying the market is moot if you don't write the book. So should you be studying the market, then writing a book to fit the market????

Well, by the time the book is done, the market has changed.

Study as you go. Write, write, write. There is no easy way to write a book without writing.

:)

Debby Giusti said...

Tina, I didn't know you had sold SEVEN stories to WW! Oh my gosh! Fantastic!

They published a short mystery of mine and a 300-word humorous story about my son and a health class project.

I always eye the mag when I'm in the grocery check-out line. Should give it another try. If only there were more hours in a day.

Debby Giusti said...

Lyndee, just reread your comment and saw your mention of hooking mama-in-law up with my books. That makes me smile! Thank you for thinking of me.

Hugs!

Debby Giusti said...

Ruthy, I think Tina's 'puter must be fast as lightning. Mine is super slow...which...makes...every...thing...take...so...long!

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Loved reading how you obtained a two book contract with one story through rewriting it to fit another publisher's needs. I've had success with re-purposing non-fiction, but not with any fiction. Congratulations, Rose, on your success.
Tina: Subbed 3 to WW already this year! You'll get published again there soon. I'd frame that lovely letter. I've made it to Seattle twice before being rejected by them. About to send the Christmas one I wrote last Dec. Thanks again for your help with that one. I'll keep on targeting them. Thanks for all the good tips here today, Rose and Tina.

Kav said...

Love this green angle, Rose, I'm all about being earth friendly. We could even go upscale and say we're upcycling our stories, don't you think? That is oh-so-trendy!

Guess what I'm reading right now???? Loving it -- so don't enter me in the draw.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well Ruthy it's all about balance.

I have none.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I think for perspective sake it is important to mention I sold 7 but had about two to three times that rejected.

You just keep sending them out and forgetting about them.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Upcycling.

I love that Kav.

bsfergen said...

Rose,

This sounds like good advice from someone who has been there and is following her own advice. I have yet to read one of your books, but I have it on my "to do" list.

Brenda

Cara Lynn James said...

Hi, Rose! I recycled the first book I ever wrote by changing it from a contemporary to a historical. It was published as Love on Assignment. It wasn't easy, but it was fun to see the differences and the similarities between the two versions.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

KAV!!!I love the upcycling!!!! That's awesome.

Tina, sending them out and then forgetting/moving on.

Perfect advice. It's so easy to get caught in the waiting-to-hear-something game.

Vince said...

Hi Tina:

OK…I would much rather have a nasty unpleasant acceptance than the most heartwarming rejection.

Consider these two letters:

Dear Vince:

I hated your book. I didn’t get it. Your hero is a jerk. Your heroine is not much better. If anything she deserves him. However, the senior editors overruled my objections and we are going to publish the stupid thing. I’m asking for another editor to work with you.



Dear Vince:

Your book is the best work I’ve seen in decades from an unpublished writer. I would tell you how to improve it but it doesn’t have anything wrong with it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit our editorial needs. However, keep submitting it to other publishers as I know someone will snap it up and it will go on to win all kinds of awards.


Which letter do you want? ☺

Vince

P.S. Do you think Vince Lombardi even talked about a good loss?

Tina Radcliffe said...

Vince, you are such a character. I want the good rejection letter. It says that I should keep submitting to them. It says we are passing on the peas, but we might like your mashed potatoes.

Vince said...

Hi Debby:

If by online you mean ‘not in physical book stores’ you are right. However, you can sometimes get Medical Romances in large used bookstores. There were several hundred of them for a $1 each in Tulsa. I bought many of them. (I can see six of them right now on my near book shelf.) As far as I know, they still have as many at that bookstore.

Paper Medical Romance books can be bought from Harlequin but they will have to be mailed to you.

The Medical Romance authors are great fun on their blogs. As a group they are very sharp. Most have medical degrees. Tina would fit right in and I keep after to write a Medical Romance. (In fact, it's a market if a medical theme LI is rejected. And they want to add more books that take place in the USA. )

Vince

Vince said...

Hi Tina:

From a marketing POV, when looking at the bestseller lists, some of the most predictive information will be evident from the books by first time authors or first time on the best seller list authors.

Established authors have a fan base which could make anything these authors write a best seller. They will not necessarily show a trend by their sales.

However, an unknown author who writes a best seller is doing it based on that book and what that book is like. This can be an early indication of what the public may want more of in the near future. If that book is in a new area, as the early Bonnet books were, then it may mean even more.

Vince

P.S. I have a HMR title for you, “Mending the Cardiologist’s Broken Heart”. What was that about writing what you know?

Helen Gray said...

Rose knows.

Tee hee. I made a rhyme.

☻ ♥ ♣ ☻ ♥ ♣ ☻ ♥ ♣☻ ♥ ♣☻ ♥ ♣

Vince said...

Hi Tina:

You call me a character? Well, that is true.

You wrote:

“Vince, you are such a character. I want the good rejection letter. It says that I should keep submitting to them. It says we are passing on the peas, but we might like your mashed potatoes.”

Not me! I’m a plotter. I want to know the ending, now. That nasty acceptance letter says, “The senior decision makers believe my peas are just perfect and they may want a three book series.”

I was never one for taking a better title in lieu of a raise. : )

Vince

P.S. I think we are doing pretty good to fill the ‘sagging middle’ while we wait for the evening crowd to check in.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Vince. The top selling lines for Harlequin are Presents and Love Inspired.

That's just random information for you.

I choose to defy the odds and keep submitting to the nice editor until I sell.

Wait..that's how I sold to WW and LI.

If it isn't broken why fix the methodology.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Helen, step away from the keyboard.

Helen Gray said...

Stepped away. Fell in a hole.

Rose said...

Oh my gosh 96 comments....EEK I don't know that I'll get them all answered!

I'll try though...

Rose said...

Linda Glaz,

Thanks for taking time out of your agenting duties to stop over.

Linda has a Heartsong Presents releasing this month too!

Rose said...

Missy,

You are recycling even though you had to change a few things.

Rose said...

Jane!

You're such a good writing buddy...always commenting on my blogs.

And a GREAT librarian too!

Rose said...

Patty W...

I came up with that title on the spur of the moment. I'm glad you like it.

Rose said...

Lisa L.

Great to see you here.

Rose said...

Patti Jo,

A Heartsong Presents book club subscriber! Awesome! i really do enjoy reading Heartsongs.

Rose said...

Sandy,

I always have fun in Seekerville. Although, I never get close to Captain Jack, a glimpse here, a glimpse there.

Rose said...

Brenda,

Just think of a 'recycle' of a manuscript the same as an editor's revisions. Would that make it easier?

Rose said...

Connie Q

'but if I have to change it I will'

THAT IS A GREAT MOTTO for a writer because contracted manuscripts are changed!

Rose said...

Hi Davalyn, who had a Heartsong Presents release later this year...August, I believe.

Rose said...

Ruthie,

The Panera danish were to die for. How did you know the pecan braids are my favorite?

Tina Radcliffe said...

We were mostly talking ABOUT you while you were gone, Rose. hehehe

Rose said...

Susan Anne


I like the challenge of repurposing a manuscript.

Rose said...

Yes, Jan, I went to the 'dark side' with my next two books. HA!

Faith is a great name for a town. I've driven through it but never stopped.

Rose said...

Hi Ruth,

How are you doing? I'm glad you stopped by and you are entered!

Rose said...

Debby,

You are so right. Any writing we do is forward movement in our writing careers.

Rose said...

Sherinda,

Thanks for swinging over to my blog. I'm excited for the three in one to release because books two and three were harder to purchase.

Rose said...

Merrie,

Thanks for stopping by. Are you all settled in from your move?

Rose said...

I'm waving at Erica but I have feeling she's outside shoveling that record snow they received.

Rose said...

Keli,

A fellow manuscript recycler! Awesome!

Rose said...

Lorna,

Sending a cyber hug right back at you until I see you again and can give you a real hug.

Rose said...

Mary,

I supposed your tardiness is excused...since you were writing....you were really writing and not outside playing with calfs and kitties???

Rose said...

Lyndee,

Now Harlequin is publishing Heartsongs, they are easier to purchase.

Last fall they were placing them in select Walmarts and Kmarts. But they are available on Harlequin's website, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Rose said...

KAV IS READING MY BOOK AND LIKING IT!!!!!

Rose said...

bsfergen AKA Brenda,

Thanks for stopping by. Brenda is one of my ESA sisters!

Rose said...

Pat,

I've recycled non-fiction articles too!

Glad you stopped by today.

Rose said...

Seekerville Ladies,

I may not have answered all of your posts individually, but thank you again for being such gracious and generous hostesses...or is it hostess'

Grammar Queen where are you????

Chill N said...

Ah ... had a wonderful writing day. Settling in to read comments but first thanking you, Rose, for the unique twist on reworking a manuscript. Recycling -- I like that!

Nancy C

Rose said...

Jeanne & Cindy-

Since you both asked how I target my markets, it's pretty much what Tina and Ruth said: READ, READ, READ.

If you think your story or story idea fits with the publisher, then visit their website, study their guidelines. If their authors have a blog, like Love Inspired follow it. Follow the editor's on Twitter or if they have blog drop by often.

My first Heartsong published by Barbour was an answer to the editor's needs. On her blog she said: I need stories with 'gray haired' love. I worked fast and hard and submitted what she asked for and it resulted in a contract.

I do have to say that Lorna hit the nail on the head(so cliche)when she said that I'm good at giving the 'customer' what they ask for.

I wrote for children's magazines that issued themes for years, so I guess I'm in the mind set that if the editor says, 'I need gray hair love stories', I start brainstorming.

Rose said...

Perhaps we need to think of ourselves as more than just novelists. How about being a writer who makes money writing! (At least, that's a novel idea.☺)

Vince! I like the way you think.

I've been recycling manuscripts for a long time. I wrote for children's magazines and I'd chose a Bible verse, write a devotion, a non-fiction and fiction piece reflecting it's theme.

Rose said...

Cara,

Congratulations on your recycling. Sometimes it is a challenge but that's how we grow, right?

Rose said...

Nancy C,

Glad you had a wonderful writing day and that you stopped by.

Rose said...

Helen,

Stepping away will help you get out of that hole!

You are almost there...waiting until tomorrow when you have 'fresh eyes'.

Debra E. Marvin said...

Sorry to hear about the cold weather. Snow in too many places! It's 70 degrees in upstate NY, 9pm. That's June weather after two month's worth of March.

Rose you are a sweetheart.

And what exactly did Helen eat for breakfast today? We can't blame the full moon.

Heidi said...

Glad to hear about your new book! Adding it to my to-read list! :)

Rose said...

Thanks, Heidi!

Rose said...

Ladies,

Thanks again for letting me stop by today. I had a GREAT time and can't wait to send a book off to one lucky winner.

Rose

Tina Radcliffe said...

ROSE!!! LOVE THE HAIR!!!!


Thank YOU for being a wonderful guest.

Pam Hillman said...

Talk about a switch-er-roo!! Rose, did you get your hair done today mid-Seekerville?

You look lovely! :)

Natalie Monk said...

Wow, that sounds like hard work! But definitely worth those contracts! And I love your outlook on it! Plotting and creative stages are my favorite part, but getting through the rearranging of scenes and rewriting feels like walking in ankle deep mud. :)

Salvaging and recycling a manuscript does seem a lot better than scrapping all that hard work, though.

Congrats on the two contracts!

Helen Gray said...

Great to see you got your new head shot, Rose.

Hmm, that sounds odd, doesn't it?

Mary Preston said...

It makes a lot of sense to re-work your writing. Use all that hard work.

I'd love to read WEDDING ON THE ROCKS thank you.

Mary Hicks said...

Enjoyed the article, a new twist on living green, how cool and practical too!
Please drop my name in the draw pot—would love to have your book 'Wedding on the Rocks.'

Mary Hicks

Vince said...

Hi Tina:

OMG!

I did not realize how suggesting you write a HMR might be interpreted! I guess in Ruthian* terms, it would be like suggesting that Derek Jeter work in a few games during the season for the Scranton Rail Riders! Scranton would love it and he’d do great but it might not be the highest and best use of his time and talents.

However, I never intended to suggest you write less books for LI – only that you work in a few extra smaller books at the same time. HMR are shorter and less complex (in subplots and secondary characters but not in needing knowledge of medical conditions and terminology.)

Two authors I really like, Lynn Marshall (also writes for HSE) and Kate Hardy (has dozens of Presents and at least one HR).

I was thinking in your best marketing interests. Using your overflow. Developing a second fan base. Employing the synergy of cross-pollinating your two fan bases. Feeling the joy and satisfaction of using your medical education and hard earned experience to bring a little extra happiness into the lives of those hooked on medical romances – they are a lot like the CSI fans: they want that medical terminology.

That’s all I was thinking. I was not suggesting you play for Harlequin’s Triple A farm team.

“It’s not that I love “Love Inspired” less, but that I love your interests even more!”

Vince

*Pun intended.

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL. This was great, Vince. So I should expand my franchise a bit?

Sarah said...

Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!I would love to win!
Sarah Richmond
sarahrichmond.12@gmail.com

Sarah said...

WELCOME BACK ROSE!!!

Vince said...

Hi Tina:

Exactly: as long as you avoid the dangers of line extension.

Sally said...

Loved this post! Would love a chance to win this book! The title caught my eye. Thanks!
tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net