November 10, 2015
Note From Rochelle
When I work on my NaNoWriMo project, the gremlins assault me with messages like:
+“Are you sure this is worth your time?”
+”What if it’s not good enough?”
+ “You can’t compete with big name authors.”
It takes a big dose of chutzpah with a bit of discipline thrown in to keep my butt in the chair. Of course, it helps to have friends and colleagues who have revised and published their NaNoWriMo Novels—like Sharon Nagel and Jocelyn Koehler, who you met in last week’s blog post. Today’s blog post from Writer’s Relief shares a few more NaNoWriMo success stories and then talks about how they can help you submit your novel.
Speaking of writing help, I’m moving my Write-A-Thon class to the New Year. Watch this space for details on dates!
Happy Writing! Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
Thanks to Rochelle Melander, aka The Write Now! Coach, for hosting us today!
You might think that frenzied NaNoWriMo typing amounts to a big writing exercise in futility. NaNoWriMo books never get published, right? Wrong! In fact, a total of 250 NaNoWriMo writers have been published traditionally. Here are three of the best:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Christened “playful and dramatic realism” by the Washington Post, Morgenstern’s The Night Circus was a product of the 2003 NaNoWriMo. When literary agents rejected her work, she whittled away at it and developed a tighter plot. Several NaNoWriMos later, the book was print-perfect: It snapped up a six-figure deal with Knopf Doubleday Publishers in 2011. Persistence pays off!
The Night Circus spins a classic love story of two star-crossed lovers manipulated by their dueling guardians. Marc and Celia are uniquely talented magicians employed by a mysterious night circus, compelled to participate in a deadly confrontation that only one is expected to survive.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Rowell credits NaNoWriMo with pushing her to put Fangirl on paper and leading her to some of her “bravest writing.” The book was a New York Times 2013 Notable Children’s Book.
Fangirl traces the social misadventures of Cath, a freshman in college, forced to make new friends when her sister decides to room with someone else. Complicating matters is the return of her long-absent mother, a flirtatious classmate, and her worrisome father. Cath’s only escape is funneling her experiences through writing fan fiction.
Wool by Hugh Howey
When Hugh Howey published his e-book Wool, a thousand copies sold in a month. NaNoWriMo encouraged him to really lay out the next four installments of the story. The complete novel topped both Amazon’s and the New York Times E-Book Best Seller lists. Howey became the first self-published author to receive a six-figured print deal AND keep digital rights to the book.
In this post-apocalyptic thriller, a society preserves itself from the toxic atmosphere on earth by existing in a silo 144 feet underground. When Sheriff Holston breaks taboo and asks to go outside, he is replaced by Juliette, a skilled mechanic. As the new sheriff, Juliette discovers information suggesting that everyone in the silo has been lied to.
In our twenty-plus years of service to writers, we at Writer’s Relief have found that most of them would rather do just about anything besides making submissions. Often, creative writers are overwhelmed by the work required to send submissions—navigating the complex publishing industry, reviewing piles of research, proofreading and formatting, and then actually submitting (with adherence to countless sets of guidelines). And what happens after those submissions are in the world? Meticulously tracking every submission, waiting for what feels like forever, and cookie-cutter rejection letters. When you can barely make time to write, it’s no wonder the business and busywork of submissions seem daunting at best.
Luckily, Writer’s Relief is here to provide just that: Relief!
For example, imagine an eager book author attempting to make submissions of his or her novel, hoping for a literary agent’s representation. The process quickly becomes much more complicated than many writers realize. First, the hopeful author needs to research agents through market books or online resources, trying to figure out which of countless agents would best fit their novel. Once the author found a list of prospective agents who look promising, he or she must write a query letter that perfectly captures the manuscript and holds those agents’ attention—and then make sure that every submission follows specific agents’ guidelines to the last detail. Later, when it comes to submitting other work—or trying a new batch of agents if the first didn’t work out—the author has to start back at square one. Though perseverance is often the key to getting a literary agent, the process can be exhausting to many writers. That’s where we come in.
What Writer’s Relief Does
Established in 1994, Writer’s Relief is an author’s submission service with the knowledge that each author requires a tailored approach. We help writers make submissions to literary journals (for short prose or poetry) or literary agents (for book manuscripts). We can professionally write an author’s cover or query letter. We can format and proofread a writer’s work so that it meets industry standards. And to ensure we’re sending an author’s writing to the markets most likely to be interested, we carefully consider style, word count, and the work’s topics and themes. Then we analyze literary markets to get an idea of what they typically accept. We have thousands of journals and agents in our database, waiting for writers to submit!
Basically, we promise that if an author takes care of the writing—we can take care of everything else.
What makes Writer’s Relief special is our clients’ ability to contact staff members with questions or concerns. Our strategists will walk a writer through the submission process and even act as cheerleaders for writers dragging their feet through complications and rejections. You’ll find an eclectic mix of proofreaders, writers, motivators, and organizers here at Writer’s Relief, with experience in everything from publishing to social media to customer service. These talents meld to fit the needs of each individual client. Founder and President Ronnie L. Smith insists, “A good submission service does not offer a one-size-fits-all approach.”
A La Carte services are available for writers who want to take advantage of Writer’s Relief’s help only on a temporary basis. We also offer a more inclusive and intensive Full Service program. This option is available by invitation only, through submission to the Writer’s Relief Review Board. Consideration by the Review Board is always free of cost and obligation. After a submission is received, it is read by multiple staff members to discern the skill of the writer and the marketability of the work. If the Review Board’s decision is positive, the writer will receive an invitation to our Full Service program, with no requirement to join.
Of course, we cannot guarantee publication—but we can guarantee that we’ll make the process of submitting your writing easier and less stressful!
We also offer free resources—such as our informative blog articles and our online publishing tool kit chock-full of information and tips—to writers who can’t afford our services or prefer to undertake the submission process on their own. And everyone is invited to sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter, Submit Write Now!
It’s true that most of what Writer’s Relief does is work any writer could do on his or her own with unlimited time and resources. However, the dedication, enthusiasm, thoroughness, and focus we offer our clients are unparalleled. We not only help an author make submissions, we help them keep faith and stay motivated throughout the process. We’re incredibly proud and humbled to have built a community of successful writers—and we believe that’s priceless!
Writer’s Relief is a highly recommended author’s submission service. They assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. They have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit their site today to learn more.
Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander is an author, a certified professional coach, and a popular speaker. Melander has written ten books including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It). As the Write Now! Coach, she teaches professionals how to write books fast, get published, and connect with readers through social media. Get your free subscription to her Write Now! Tips Ezine at https://www.writenowcoach.com.