I Wrote 5 Books Before Publication

fountain pen on page of writing

I wrote five book length manuscripts before one was finally accepted for publication by Ginninderra Press, a small but prestigious publisher. Rejection didn’t stop me from writing.

‘You write, you re-write, you edit, you tweak and when it’s perfect, you submit. And then you get rejected. Many times, maybe by a person who didn’t even read it. Rejection is painful because it instantly devalues your creation. Someone says this isn’t worth publishing. Rejectees, take heart. Many now-famous writers have been rejected before they made it big. Stephen King wrote his first novel, “Carrie,” and it was rejected 30 times. Rejections were so devastating that he threw the manuscript in the trash. “Chicken Soup for the Soul” was rejected 140 times. Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With The Wind” was rejected by 38 publishers (and she did give a damn). James Joyce’s “Dubliner” was rejected 18 times and took nine years before it reached publication.’ – Ronald H. Balson

There are days when you feel like giving up and is seems that you are not making any progress. It’s during days like these, that sheer determination and persistence is all that’s left.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge

Some writers continually submit the same manuscript until it is accepted. Others chose to do a more polished draft before sending it out again. A few learn from the lessons of submissions, to write a completely new book. What we all have in common is a persistence to never give up on our dream. Some decide to self-publish.

I’m very happy to say that persistence has paid off for me, and a third manuscript has now been accepted for publication by Ginninderra Press . ‘The Usual Story’ will be available in bookstores and online in July 2018.

As the saying goes: a writer writes. Writers continue to write.

A dear friend, who is also a former mentor, wrote this to me recently:  Libby, I’m not sure how you found your way to Ginninderra, but what a blessing for you and for readers! I was thinking the other day of your commitment for so many years when the door to publishing a book just wouldn’t open, and how much I admire your resolve and, of course, your amazing talent! Wonderful that the books are in the world now.

I hope this reminder about persistence is helpful. Do you have any tips you would add? Let me know in the comments and please share this post with a friend if you enjoyed it.



28 thoughts on “I Wrote 5 Books Before Publication

      1. thanks for the suggestion. i had a quick read of your submission guidelines. all sounds good, but basically the content i’d be submitting to you is the same content i post each week on my blog. not that many people seem to see/read it. i certainly don’t have your reach. good idea but … a lot of effort me thinks.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Thank you for this quote from Calvin Coolidge. it is the single most important thing I have learned. I always believed talent was enough. It’s something we all need to bear in mind. Shared on Social media

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you Libby and thank you for the post. One often perceives rejection as being something to do with talent and while talent obviously shines through, I think the quote coupled by your story demonstrates it ain’t necessarily enough. I suppose its down to dogged determination, pluck and a tiny bit of luck too!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. self publishing is a very valid option. congratulations on your books. are the sales good? you’ve certainly built up a large social media following. hope you don’t mind me asking. just wondering. it’s such a tough gig getting one’s book out there, and then to get them noticed is just as hard 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Libby sales can be quite good (not up with the top guys of course) when I drop prices and promote – if I sit back and twiddle my thumbs, or take a holiday or, heaven forbid sit and watch TV, then the rankings drop like a stone. It’s hard work, long hours and trying to learn all the computer programmes like WordPress and MailChimp. I’m now setting out to get to grips with Canva to make better graphics and Scrivener to improve my plotting. But all the hard work has brought me into contact with so many wonderful people and that is the upside. 🙂 Always happy to offer a guest blog to showcase other authors if you are interested. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much for your candid response, Lucinda. are you self-published? i don’t understand the whole Amazon marketing thing. i know self-published writers often do well by promoting their books on Amazon. don’t know how it all works. like you, i want to set some time aside to learn Canva. it’s meant to be very easy, but, so far, not for me. maybe when i go on holidays at the end of the year i’ll give it some time. thanks so much for the offer of a guest blog. i post a short essay related to the writing life on my own blog every week. i LOVE reblogs. 🙂 have you found MailChimp to be worthwhile?


  3. Libby, thank you for following my blog 🙂 I found MailChimp a nightmare. I battled for ages and then when I did send out an email it was to over 1,500 people whose names I’d got from being in a joint promo – of course hundreds unsubscribed even though they had agreed to receive mail from the authors who had put a free book into the bundle. I had an unsub rate of 3%, MC went ballistic and locked me out. They would not re-open my account until I had a successful campaign, and I couldn’t run a successful campaign because they would not let me add any ‘safe’ addresses. I had to pay a guy to come and set up a new account for me. Then I had amazing help from an author in Madrid, we Skyped and he talked me through the process – how was I know you typed up the blurb on one side of the screen and it appeared on the other!! I still grab an extra coffee each time I sit down to write up my newsletter!! You can pay for advertising on both Facebook and Amazon -those annoying little pop ups. I believe if you get the parameters and targets right they can boost sales – some people have done well, others will tell you it’s a waste of money. I think a lot depends on your genre as well. Happy to pass on to anyone the little I have learned.


    1. and thank you Lucinda for following my blog. thanks so much for sharing your experience with MailChimp. sounds horrendous. i find that having a Facebook Author page, or business page, is well worth the effort. and worth spending a small sum of money to boost one’s posts when appropriate. as you say, they need to be well targeted. a steep learning curve. and that’s where Canva comes in. would be good to create wonderful graphics on Canva to use on the FB business page, especially when we have a new book coming out 🙂 and then being on WordPress is a great way to engage with people from all over the world. it all takes time, but i think it’s worth it. takes time to build relationships with our readers 🙂


  4. Libby, congratulations on your latest acceptance!! 🎉 That is brilliant news. Your post is inspiring and always heartening to read about the very famous struggling to find publishers for their books. Persistence in the key but it’s easy to lose hope along the way I imagine…always lovely to come across such an uplifting post. 😀🌻

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thanks so much Annika for your good wishes. so wonderful to hear that you found my post inspiring. we put our stories out there and never know if people will relate to them. so fabulous to read you found it uplifting to read about my struggle to publication. wonderful. yes, persistence is the key 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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