My Writing Journey

No Doesn’t Always Mean No

Credit to Photo by Jessica Lewis. Produced by Canva.

Yup, you guessed it. I heard back from the publishers.

And it wasn’t quite the positive response I had hoped for.

They loved the idea… but felt it wasn’t quite the story concept for them.

not crying

No, I’m not crying.


Because there’s that age old adage: Every cloud has a silver lining.

Meaning you can find a positive in anything, even the negative, and that is the way I live my life. I’ve taken plenty of knocks in my life, personally and professionally, and I have always found something to feel good about in each situation. The writing game is no different.

Previous to this submission, I submitted to agents, and the ones who read what I had sent were all extremely positive, but not able to offer representation for various reasons. One was really keen but wanted more polish on my then manuscript before considering representation. This was one response I had.

“The world needs your story.”

Agent Feedback

So, it can’t be all bad, can it? But what can I do, going forward?

I know my story isn’t unworthy. The feedback from my beta readers has already told me that. I have a few more tweaks to do, as suggested by a couple of them, which I didn’t implement after submitting to the publisher, as I thought I would let the story rest, whilst they were pondering.

The next decision to make is what I want to do next, publishing wise. Do I want to try submitting to another set of agents/publishers? Or is it time to take that bold Indie step?

I have a list of publishers and agents I could submit to.

But I am much further along the Indie process than I thought, really. I have a prospective cover already. I have the means to format my book. I already have a host of bloggers willing to help promote when the time is right.

One thing I haven’d done is set up a newsletter and built a mailing list, because at this stage, I don’t know what I could send out regularly, to subscribers that would even interest them!

I just need the gumption to do it.

What do you think?

Should I take the plunge and go it alone (with all of you for support, obviously!) or do I try and submit again, chasing the traditionally published dream?

Bitmoji Image

Help a writer out, Peeps!


99 thoughts on “No Doesn’t Always Mean No”

  1. If it doesn’t work one way doesn’t mean it doesn’t work in any way. I would first check out all options to go with a traditional publisher. If you already have a list, why not using those addresses? If that doesn’t work out you can still go the indie way.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So sorry your original attempts didn’t work. Praying for God’s direction as you move forward. I just read a blog that described an author who did so well with self-publishing that a traditional publisher picked him up. You will feel peace when God gives you direction. Trust Him!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. If you are going to self publish, you don’t have to do it entirely alone. Moyhill Publications can help you with typesetting the document, getting the ISBN number, copy writing your manuscript and a lot of other administrative guidance as well. I thought David (Sally Cronin’s hubby) was very reasonably priced and really went the extra mile to help me. My issue with self publishing is that Amazon won’t recognise a South African bank account which has caused me massive headaches and still isn’t resolved. I am trying to get this sorted out as self publishing gives you a lot of independence and control.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do it! You have an incredible audience on social media willing to buy, read, and support you (me included!). Independently publishing your book gives you complete control over every element – you don’t realise how valuable that is until it’s gone! We all know you’ve got more than one book in you so there’s plenty of time to build your author platform (newsletter) for future books with or without a traditional contract.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m biased as I went down the Indie route as soon as I realised I could do it, figuring it was better than nothing happening. I don’t think you need a newsletter if you already have a blog and followers.


      1. That’s for sure and there is a big difference from being successful ( not me ) and doing it because you love writing and want to give your mother the paperback for Christmas! I didn’t start writing till everyone had left home – if you are a busy person only go down those routes you will enjoy that won’t be stressful.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Ritu – If you are seriously considering the Indie route, then don’t discount getting a professional edit, and some professional guidance re the presentation. I did both and have no regrets. All the best. Colin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thakns Colin! I already have an editor who has done the developmental edit, and she is ready to copy and proof for me too if this is the route I go down.
      I have taken courses in using Vellum for formatting, and I already have a professional image for the cover, if I want to go it myself!

      I should really just do it… shouldn’t I?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just do it Ritu!

    There will always be pros/cons but analysing the circumstances to death is not too productive. Waiting for that acceptance letter may just be using time, and remember that JK Rowling was turned down a few times before somebody eventually saw potential in Harry Potter!

    Just do it Ritu!

    Writing is creativity, and all creativity is highly subjective, so you have to hit the right publisher … but have no way of knowing who that is.

    Just do it Ritu!

    I can remember the sense of pleasure, achievement, and satisfaction, of holding a hard copy of my first book “Who Said I was up for Adoption?”.

    Just do it Ritu!

    You’ll be smiling in a few months as you hold a copy of your book in your hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel this whole thing is incredibly hard… I started another blog and a newsletter in case of self publishing. I have few followers and my newsletter is my monthly blog posts.. and my subscribers are not opening my links.. I guess because they have already read them. The while process is hard because you need an email list but I’m lost with what I should be saying as I’ve already said so much on the blog.

    Self publishing v traditional.. I’m lost there to.. three years or longer down the line an agent might want it, self publishing it could be on Amazon next week. Both you need to market yourself, and for both you need a platform. The difference might be in the eyes of the world, I’m not sure… or the financial payout, depending on who publishes it.

    Also with traditional the agent will send you back so many revisions… so more work.

    Writing a book is a massive steep hill.. well done for getting this far!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sometimes all the effort and time spent trying to go with agents or publishers doesn’t turn out like you expect anyway. A well know publishing company was interested in my novel, but I wasn’t interested after reading the fine print of the contract. I self published after that. It’s tricky figuring out which way is right, and I still second guess my decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Whatever you decide, I’m sure it’ll be a success! I’m a fan of traditional publishing because I have no interest in doing all the marketing and advertising involved in indie. But, you’re definitely ahead of most in that realm! Good luck with making your decision! But, really, if you’ve heard some positive response from agents and publishers, I’d go another round before making your decision. The common wisdom is that any response from agents means it’s worthy of traditional publishing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations! Even with the no, it means that someone outside your circle has read your book and thinks the world needs to read it…. That’s major! Other than that, I have nothing… have never gotten that far… I will watch here if I ever get that far, then I will thank you for going ahead of me and lean on you for advice! Well done, proud to know you. Cathi

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ritu, I’m sure you’ve reached out to some of the Authors who have self-published for the positives/negatives of that approach. As traditional punishing is probably more difficult now than ever, a “do it yourself” approach could, in fact, help raise the awareness for the book that would capture the traditional publishing world’s attention. I have an Author friend who did just that after his regular Publisher didn’t think his concept was “big” enough…he self-published it and his Publisher changed their mind and ended up taking him back out to great success.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Ritu – There is loads of support here but, if you are still undecided:

    It takes a considerable amount of money to get a book published and available through all the usual avenues. It takes a huge amount more to promote it effectively. When a publisher picks a new author, they will have developed sufficient faith that they will get a good return on their investment. This is basic business. That is why an unknown author has great difficulty getting a publisher. If you were a politician or a celeb of some sort …. different story!

    Indie publishing means you take the financial risk. I cannot quote you in your currency, but my three books averaged around $5,000.00Cdn each. PR is a scary area because the royalties per book are so small, that a major advertising investment is highly suspect.

    For your info, none of my three books are even close to covering their initial cost, but I have a huge sense of satisfaction just knowing that they are “out there” and have each generated some lovely reviews.

    Don’t give up. Do it! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It sounds like you have a good story to tell even if it still needs a bit of polishing and a professional editor can help there. It sounds to me like you would really like to be trad published (or you wouldn’t be asking the question :), in which case try a few more publishers before making the decision. I’m a hybrid with some books self-published and others through the traditional publishing route and I would say that whichever way you go, you are going to have to do the marketing because apart from the really big publishers they don’t have much of a budget for promotion and marketing. Good luck with whichever route you choose to take.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow! What a lot of amazing and supportive comments. Take heart from what the publishers and agents have said – a lot of writers don’t get any feedback from the publishers and agents they have targeted so you definitely have something special. Your book needs to be read and whichever way you go, it’s going to be a major success ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My answer is more a question about what you want. Do you want fame and fortune or to be published? If it is published go ahead and do it. If fame and fortune, keep plugging at the traditional path. No guarantee on traditional but fame and fortune are not usually part of the Indie path.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a hard one… But equally, I’m seeing more Indie authors really bringing it to the table and getting recognition…
      It’s more, do I want to see my books on a store book

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Having hard copies on a store shelf is expensive, because they want a money back guarantee that if the books do not sell … etc. etc. There is “book return insurance”, but it was far too expensive for me!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Your feedback is very positive, enough so, that I would keep submitting at least for a while. You have your query all set, and the process is fresh in your mind. You can do multiple submissions, tailored to each agent. You will know when you feel you have exhausted your avenues. I am very, very proud of you, Ritu!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I cant give any advice on this, Sis. I have too less experience in it, but if you interested in, i remember Shehanne’s ( difficulties getting back her rights on her works.According to Chris (TSRA) in my opinion its not worth waiting too long on publisher feedback. I dont know where i read, but with the change of the economic and political situation in Europe some publishers changed their point of view. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m so sorry to hear about your response!!! I loved your post and your being positive!! That is the right thing to do!! Just remember, more than a few record companies turned down recording The Beatles!!! Remember J.K. Rowlings too! And Edison had over 1,000 experiments before he came up with the light bulb!! You might want to reread your submission from the eyes of a publisher and/or an agent?? Keep smiling and keep trying, My Dear!!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Do I think Robin Sharma said himself that his first book got rejected , so he self published because he believed in it. And now look where he is and he is being published.

    I haven’t written a book, I dream of writing but not sure what to write. I no expert on these things.

    But I also saw or read that it is all perspective what a publisher likes or doesn’t. I think it was in a writing magazine. So if one publisher doesn’t get another one will.

    Wish you the best of luck. You should self publish it might be lead to being published. If I make any sense at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ritu,
    Look at all the love and support you have! You have this in you and you’re going to do great. I’ve always heard that “God’s delays are not God’s denials.” I don’t know if this helps, but it helps me with patience when I need it. I hope that the next time you submit, if you choose to go the traditional route, the agents/publishers get a chance to see how many loyal readers and followers you have! If they choose not to give you a chance, it will truly be their loss! Anyway, I can’t wait until you publish! It’s going to be awesome! πŸ™‚ Mona

    Liked by 1 person

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