Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tips for Accepting Query Letter Rejection

GIMME CHOCOLATE, NOW! Dealing with rejection, written and submitted by Molli Nickell (we thank you Molli!)

Heart pounding, you open the mailbox. Digging through bills and letters, you spot something familiar. It’s the SASE (self-addressed-stamped-envelope) you’d submitted with your manuscript. Woo-hoo! Your heart dances with possibilities. “Finally, I can order ‘Published Author’ business cards.” You rip open the envelope and yank out the letter. Then . . .

There it is. That letter. You’ve seen it before. Crookedly copied, coffee-stained, unsigned, offering the same sappy platitudes—“blah blah blah, not right for our list. Best wishes for placement elsewhere.”

Your reaction? “GIVE ME CHOCOLATE, NOW!”

Or, you pull the mail out of the box. “Hmmm, there’s my SASE.” You carry it inside and open it. “Oh well, not a good match. I’ll cross this not-right-for-me agent off my list.”

Same situation, totally different reactions. What makes the difference? Mindset.

The second example demonstrates the reaction from a writer who understands the nature of the publishing business. Instead of the emotionally shattering, kicking-screaming-chocolate-cramming reaction, they simply remove this non-match from their agent list.

Is it easy to adopt a this mindset? No. Can you do it? Absolutely yes!

The next time you receive a non-acceptance letter and wolf down some chocolate, pause for a moment and consider the “why” of your reaction to the situation. As a writer, you’ve created something uniquely yours. Your manuscript is a product of your heart and soul, something that was inside of you, screaming to be written. You listened and loved it well enough to put your BIC (butt in chair) for the required hours, days, months, or years to bring your manuscript to life. Then, the time arrived to send your manuscript out into the world.

Moving from “telling” to “selling” can be a difficult, gut wrenching step. You open your manuscript to scrutiny, and release its fate to the actions of someone else. The feeling is similar to how you might have felt the first time you left your precious child at day care.

However (here’s where the situations differ), you probably never retrieved your child and found a crooked, photocopied note pinned to their little shirt. “Dear Parent, thank you for bringing us your child. So sorry, but he/she is not a good match with the other children in our program. Perhaps another school will feel differently.”

Nobody likes rejection. It doesn’t feel good, especially if your mindset tells you it’s personal . . . which it isn’t. However, some writers (maybe you) build up a case in which non-acceptance becomes vindictive rejection. You decide the person returning your query or manuscript hates you, your ideas, your writing skills, your family, your dog, your haircut, your grandmother, and so on. You expand your “rejection-it-is” to include your entire world.

If you must jolly yourself out of rejection depression, imagine the person who sent you the letter sprouting a wart on their nose (or developing a rash in a place where it’s not polite to scratch).

Then, consider this basic truth about the publishing business. It’s a business. When your query or manuscript is returned, it’s a business decision. The “no thank you letter,” (or no response at all) means that, for one or more of a zillion reasons, what you have offered isn’t what that particular agent is looking for at the moment.

So, what to do? Prepare your query or manuscript and send to the next agent (s) on your list. Give up mailbox angst. Start another project. Hold the thought that eventually you’ll match yourself up with the most appropriate agent to guide you through the publishing maze to publication.

Former publisher Molli Nickell helps writers create effective queries, synopses, first pages, and book proposals. Her “teaching” websites include:, and

Monday, October 26, 2009

Book Trailer for 100 Ways to Market Your Book For Free (or really cheap)

Yes, I know, enough is enough! But please allow me to brag just once more about my newest book, 100 Ways to Market Your Book For Free (or really cheap).
I just put this book trailer together and I'm excited to share it with my viewers. The video cover image didn't quite work out the way I hoped so I'll have to adjust that at a later time.

Thanks for your patience. I promise to get back to the writing and publishing business very soon (next post)!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

100 Ways to Market Your Book for Free (or really cheap)

Hey all, thank you for your pre-release e-book orders for 100 Ways to Market Your Book for Free (or really cheap). Many of you have expressed frustration over having your only ordering option being through Pay Pal. Well it’s really not. If you are able to dig out your dusty checkbook, I will accept a check as payment. Please mail $6.95 to Plain & Simple Books, LLC, P.O. Box 1506, North Bend, Oregon 97459. If you wouldn’t mind writing the book title and your e-mail address on your check I would appreciate it. I wouldn’t want to get your order confused with another book.

The really good news is, the wait is already over and the book is now available! It will be sent out as an e-mail attachment shortly after payment is received (usually 1-2 days).

Visit for more information about the e-book 100 Ways to Market Your Book for Free (or really cheap).

Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

100 Ways to Market Your Book for Free (or really cheap) is Available for Pre-Order!

After months of preparation, my newest release is finally available for pre-order! 100 Ways to Market Your Book for Free (or really cheap) is the first “living book” of its kind. What is a “living Book?” Read on.

This new e-book is continually updated by myself and its reading audience. When you order the book, you have the “eternal” option to help keep the content fresh and re-order the most recent copy any time you wish, for free! When you come upon a new free or cheap book marketing idea, simply e-mail the information to me and it will be added to the books content, along with a linked credit for the contribution directly to you (more free book promotion!). Unlike most other informational books, this one will never become outdated.

Many new authors are shocked at how few books they are able to sell once published. The expense of preparing a book for publication can be overwhelming and frustrating. No longer are traditional publishing houses willing to fork out the big bucks to pay for their authors’ book promotion. Self-published authors find themselves at a standstill when their profits on a single copy are minimal. With that said, can authors really afford the added expense of paid promotion? With as many 30 new books released each hour of every day in the United States alone, authors need an edge to compete. There are many methods of book marketing available to authors—many for free. Researching and locating those free resources takes time and energy. 100 Ways to Market Your Book for Free (or really cheap) will show you how to gain the edge in sales over most other books on the market—for free, or really cheap!

One of my favorite quotes:
"Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
-Thomas Edison

Like many of my previously published e-books, this new and informative resource is available only through my Website. I maintain a tight budget on e-book publishing and that keeps the price very low ($6.95). So expect that the editing may be lacking of sort, the layout unperfected, and the cover “B” rated. But the content holds all the information you will need to successfully market and sell your books without financial burden.

The release date of November 1 gives authors the time needed to prepare for holiday book sales. All orders received before the official release date will be sent the e-book in PDF format to their email address no later than November 2. Click on to and scroll down the page to order 100 Ways to Market Your Book for Free (or really cheap).

If you have questions about the book, please feel free to e-mail me at

Friday, October 16, 2009

Christmas is Coming! AHHHH! How About a Good Book?

Okay, so every year I seem to “miss the boat” on early bird holiday shopping because I simply refuse to accept that it is never too early to shop for Christmas gifts. So there I’ll be, one week away from the big day and empty handed again. This year will be different. Apparently, holiday buying begins the day after Halloween now; I’ll be there this year—or here!

We all love books, and one reason many visit this Blog is because they have written and published a book (or two) of their own. So before any of us goes out to purchase a gift book for the holidays, how about we share what we ourselves have available?

I welcome all published authors to use the comment section on this post to list their book titles, description, and where they can be ordered. I also encourage all Blog visitors to check out the comments and see if perhaps the perfect gift is waiting there!

Happy early holiday!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How to Promote Your Book

Since I’ve recently been on the topic of book promotion, I think I’ll go one more. It’s a trying ordeal to compose and publish a book, but selling it can be the biggest and most frustrating part of the journey. So I believe this topic to be the most relevant to authors, especially newly published authors.

The key to selling books is exposure; if no one knows about your book, they won’t buy it. So how do we get noticed in this competitive field? Statistically, most books are not sold through traditional brick and mortar book stores. 52 percent of all book sold are sold via mail order, online, book clubs, discount stores, and nontraditional retail outlets. Since 2006, online sales have nearly doubled and are expected to increase steadily year after year.

I suppose then the answer is to get online. Personally, I’ve been working this method of marketing for three years. Just for fun, Google me and see how much exposure I have accumulated—“Carol Denbow.” Now some of my search results are for recent news unrelated to books (I’m a golfer in a small town, always makes the news!). But for the most part, you’ll see a massive number of links to my books and marketing articles, interviews, etc.

I have found the best means to gain online exposure is through author interviews and submitting book related articles to article sites such as and EzineArticles.

Join sites like Author & Book Event Center (get in the Author Spotlight for great front page exposure).

The restaurant business is one of the toughest out there. Even as a competitive business (as we are), there is a saying amongst restaurant owners, that is, “where there’s a restaurant, build another and they will come.” Ever heard the expression, “restaurant row?” This is a tough business and we must work together.

So with that in mind, I’d like to ask that all published authors add a comment to this post and tell us what your most successful marketing tool has been. Let’s share our ideas and get some books sold!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Follow-up; How to create a Widget for Entrecard

In the previous post, I suggested adding an Entrecard link on your Blog or Website; many of you responded. It really is the best way to get new visitors to your site but I hadn’t thought much about the fact that many of you are not computer experts and creating a suitable Widget for Entrecard might be a challenge to some. So here’s my suggestion to get your ad up and running.

If you already have a logo to use, skip down for instructions on how to resize it for Entrecard.

For Entrecard, you don’t need text on your ad as long as it will attract attention. You can go to to find an image that will work for you.

1) Search for a usable image
2) Right click on the small image and save to your “pictures”

To resize to 125 x 125 using Microsoft Software;

1) Open the Picture file
2) Click on “Open”
3) Go to “Microsoft Picture Manager”
4) Click on “Picture”
5) Scroll down and click on “Resize”
6) On the right you should see a box with options, in the “Custom Width x Height” box, enter 125 and 125. The click “okay.”
7) Go to “file” in the top left of your screen and click on “save.”
If you would like to add text to the picture;
1) Start over and open the Picture file.
2) Click on “Open” and scroll down to “Paint.”
3) In the left editing box, click on the letter “A.”
4) At the bottom of the option box you should see 2 choices for your text, one is to add text over the image and the other is to add opaque text (probably the one you want).
5) When you click on your image, you will see a marker to create the text box to whatever size you choose.
6) Type in your words. To edit the font or size, go to “view” and click on “text tool bar.”
7) When finished, remember to “save” your work.
8) You are now ready to upload your image to Entrecard.


Send me an email when you’re up and running and I’ll advertize on your site!