Thursday, September 01, 2011

REJECTIONS AND SETBACKS aka Blessings in Disguise

Current Project: Book #3 of the LEGACY series
Status: Editing and finishing the cover
Posted by: Genene Valleau

Just as I find it hard to believe today is the first day of September, when the first rejections of my stories came back, I struggled to believe that could be good news.

The first romances I read were from Harlequin and Silhouette, so I figured when I sold, it would be to that publisher. I came close: getting personal letters from editors, and meeting senior editors at conferences that earned the coveted words "requested material" on the envelope.

However, the end result was the same: no sale.

When I did sell, my e-publisher bought three books in a row. I was in heaven! As a bonus, I am also a graphic designer and had the privilege of designing my own covers. More happy dancin'!

Then my first e-publisher changed ownership and I wondered what the new "bosses" would be like. Would they change the company so much it was no longer as much fun?

But another blessing showed up: a friend of mine set up her own e-publishing company and was actively looking for submissions. They agreed to release the print-on-demand versions of two of my books and contracted for two novellas published as part of anthologies. Again, I had the privilege of designing the covers, and have also designed the covers for a number of their other releases. (If you want to look at those covers, they are on my design Web site at

Today, with traditional print publishers drowning in the red ink of losing money and e-books gaining more and more market share, I am grateful for those early rejections. I haven't been orphaned by a big publisher struggling to cut losses. I'm in the flow of a new publishing river gaining momentum.

What will come next in today's rapidly changing publishing world? A combination of text, graphics, video, sound? And perhaps something we haven't seen before!

Now, I can look back and be grateful those early rejections steered me down a path that prepared me to be ready for new developments.

How about you? Have you had a rejection or setback that turned out to be a good thing?


Paty Jager said...

Ahhh the "R" word. Yes, My rejections of loved/liked it but fueled me to keep going and then to pursue working with a small, new e-book/POD publisher, I learned a lot. I'm now self-publishing and fully enjoying complete control on my covers(my daughter is doing an awesome job working with her mother) and making a profit.

Genene Valleau said...

Hi, Paty! Self-publishing is one of the great new options that isn't shrieking at me to try it, try it! Even though I've heard authors say they are loving this. Guess I'm just not sure where I'd find the time to do this right now. So glad you are seeing a profit from this venture!

Annabeth Albert said...

Your presentation was amazing Genene!

Congrats on finding the path that works for you, Paty!

For the last four years, I've seen all the time I spent not writing as a setback. But now I see it as a bit of a blessing. It took time for me to realize what it would take to get serious, and to actively go for it. I read and read and read and absorbed all that hidden craft goodness. I'm not reading as much these days, and I think it's a good thing--I got so much out of it that it's time to channel it in other ways. I think it took time for me to adjust to mothering and what it meant to me, and to learn what kind of a mother I want to be.


Annabeth Albert said...

Oh and check out my new "me." Think this one is going to stick :)

The writer formerly known as B.C. ;)

Genene Valleau said...

Thanks, Annabeth aka Bethany!

Glad you're seeing your last few years as an investment in your beautiful children and yourself. You're right, sometimes it takes the perspective of looking back to realize those "blessings."

It will take some time for me to adjust to the "new you"! And I so much appreciate the advice on pseudonyms last night.