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Huge success, originally rejected of course!

This is a review of a book with a publishing backstory that should ignite the ashen hope, warm the shivering heart and revive the exhausted ego of any writer mired in the tar pit of publisher rejection. “Homer – The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat” is the triumphant follow-up to “Homer’s Odyssey”, the much-rejected “cat memoir” book that went on to be published, and saved the lives of thousands of both animals and humans, strengthened people faced with physical and mental challenges, and caused millions to fall in a love that has transformed their lives.

“Homer’s Odyssey”, the original memoir, tells the LIFE story of a tiny black blind cat named Homer. The writer, Gwen Cooper, is one of those personable writers who can involve your heart, mind and soul in a story. And as the woman who adopted Homer and loved him and gave him to the world in her books, she is indeed the one to write his story. In the follow-up, “Homer – The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat”, just released, she bravely tells the REST of his story – the story of his leaving and the worldwide wonders that resulted. It had to hurt to write it. But it was an important part of Homer’s legacy to the world. So she wrote it. In this second book she also shares the accounts of publisher response to the extraordinary original book, the sneers, jeers and cheers, and the smiles, snarls and yawns – all kindly written and completely true.

Here is my review of Gwen Cooper’s “Homer – The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat”, followed by where you can buy it and stoke the fires of your determination to publish your own gift to the world:

There has never been a cat like Homer. Thank God he was saved by a writer like Gwen. Between the two of them, he now belongs to everyone, and anyone can fall in love with him, learn courage and love and optimism and happiness and fierce loyalty and bravery and committed passion without ever feeling “talked at” or lectured or even taught. Was it initially welcomed by prospective publishers? Nope. Any aspiring writer will delight in the reasons given for rejecting a book that went out into the world to transform and save the lives of animals and people, translated into languages around the globe. Her first book was “Homer the Blind Wonder Cat.” It told his living story. But… this incredible woman had the courage to tell the story of his leaving and the worldwide impact it made. It’s amazing – the gifts Homer gave (through Gwen) by living and then by leaving. You’ll be changed, not just for the better but for the best. You’ll open – to the good that can come when you’re willing to love and then you’re willing to let go. Is it sometimes sad? It will empty your heart of tears you didn’t know you needed to cry. It is inspiring? You’ll never look at loving and living and leaving in the same way, ever again. Read the rest of the story that changed the world. Told by a writer who loved and loves a cat who was and is more than a cat. He’s everything every human should be and can be.

It won’t be available in stores, but you can find the paperback on Amazon here http://amzn.to/1ONPYN6, and the Kindle edition here http://amzn.to/1RaAmET. Or at www.hihomer.com

Famous Rejection Letters

Thanks! I needed this!

Cristian Mihai

letterFor any aspiring writer, a rejection letter, regardless of the provenience of said letter, is one of the most dreaded of objects. In this line of work getting rejected is considered a sort of literary murder – people are knowingly destroying something you’ve spent time on, and a lot of it. But the thing is everyone got rejected, more or less. I can think of very few instances when writers found publishers/agents from the first try. Or the second, or the tenth.

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The first you-know-what letter

The good news is that I am not waiting any longer to hear from my first agent submission. The bad news is their response was a rejection. I have a great and good friend who would say the bad news is “the other good news” because it means something even better is ahead!

I catch up to her attitude only after I’ve thrashed around on the floor like an eel and cursed a few also-ran gods and mourned the hard effort I put in. This is a chance to feel affectionately superior to one who is experiencing that first rejection letter, lying there in the mail box like a hit man, ready to fire the mercy bullet into one’s hope. And you recognize this envelope because you sent it to yourself! You wrote your address, you placed the stamp, you paper-clipped it to the proposal and marketing plan and cover letter over which you labored for months. So you pick it up, you open it because you want to know if they at least took a moment to make it personal (they did), and you read it, and you wonder whether you should keep it.

This agent is actually very successful and well-recommended. His web site suggests many excellent resources and they publish regular blogs which are honest and helpful. His name is Steve Laube, and that is the name of his agency, as well. Try him! He may become your agent, and you would be fortunate if he did.

Writers want their work to be read. We can’t help it, and I’m not sure we should resist that desire (without letting it become a requirement for happiness) because it’s our part in the circle of creativity. There is a relationship between writer and reader that makes each one who they are – writer and reader. But, do readers doubt they are readers if there aren’t any writers? No. Then why do writers doubt they are writers if they don’t have readers? Isn’t it a circle?

Three agents were highly recommended to me. In the next two weeks, I’ll look into the requirements of the next agent, adjust my proposal/marketing plan and cover letter – and resubmit. Okay? Okay.

VANITY PRESSES: What they are and what they do

Pauline is amazing example of prolific writing, thorough research, well-chosen focus, perseverance and ultimately, success. A great source for aspiring writers.

vanity presses

Vanity presses.  This is an interesting topic I’ve come across many, many times.  I’ve talked with a lot of people about it and have had some experience encountering these types of companies.  Often times aspiring writers don’t know the difference between a real publishing house (or print on demand service) and a vanity press.  So I’m going to break it down for you.

How do I know whether it’s a vanity press? In other words, what is it?

First off, how do you know when you encounter a vanity press?  It’s pretty simple.  If the company is asking for money – and I mean a large sum, not just a few bucks to pay for an ISBN – it’s a vanity press.

A vanity press is, in short, a company that acts as a publisher but charges you (the author) a large amount of money to do this for you. …

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7 Things to Know Before Publishing Your Novel

photo provided by nuttakit at freedigitalphotos.com photo provided by nuttakit at freedigitalphotos.com

I’ve found that during my author interviews one of the most common questions I get asked is if I have any advice for aspiring authors.  And I do!  A lot, actually.  So I thought I’d put together a list of some things I wish I’d known before taking the leap into the publishing pool.

1. You won’t make a lot of money.

Weirdly, a lot of people assume that being an author is a get-rich-quick kind of job.  Sorry to disappoint you if you’re one of those unfortunately misinformed people, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  It’s a sad reality but it’s incredibly rare for an author to make enough money to live off of their book sales.  Sure, you hear of authors like J. K. Rowling and James Patterson making millions off their books, but they are some of the few…

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Version number three and counting

So first I was struggling with writing ANYthing for the book proposal, and now I have three! How did this happen, you ask? Well, I plunged in and used a format given in an article recommended by the agent. Getting it done was like shrugging off a bearskin coat and letting the furry mass thud to the floor. THEN, I reviewed the agent’s personal suggested outline and that morphed into yet another book proposal version. Now I’m re-referencing the agent-recommended book, “Book Proposals That $ell”, which will probably birth an even heftier version. After that, I will undertake the mind-convulsing task of blending all three together into a proposal so vast it will cause the agent’s desk to sag. The agent will steady his sliding computer with one hand and call Rent-A-Crane with the other to raise the proposal off his desk and into the shredder. He will enclose the equipment rental bill with my rejection letter. Or – I will miraculously blend all the key points in an intuitive flow so phenomenally persuasive it will catapult the agent into the CFO’s office to issue me an advance. Maybe somewhere between the two scenarios, you think?