Chase the Dream: The Benefits of Persistence
Children's author Janey Louise Jones is a perfect example of how hard work and determination can shine through in the publishing industry. She's taken time away from her busy pre-launch schedule to tell us her top tips for getting your work out there.
I have now been published for ten years and have never been without a contract in progress. I’ve worked hard, had some luck and allowed myself to dream. Here are some of my tips for staying on track to get published.
Despite the fact that there are many books in the world already, publishers always need new material, so never give up. It is not a bad time, or a good time to get published, it is your time.
Determination is required - in spades. You will have to be prepared for the long game, and show a courteous persistence in all matters.
Visualising your books on the shelf will help on the miserable, rainy days of early despair
Foresight is necessary to envision publication and keep moving forward. Visualising your books on the shelf will help on the miserable, rainy days of early despair.
Self-belief differs from self-importance. Belief is the quiet but relentless knowledge that you can be a published writer.
Accept advice from those in the industry with good grace, but temper it with instinct, research and personal experience.
Don’t sway in the wind too much or you will lose your way. But be prepared to adapt. I know that sounds like woolly words, but judgement is everything in terms of succeeding.
Remember that writing as a career is not some kind of magical trick. It’s about hard work, experience and learning a craft like any other job.
Rejection is part of this world; don’t be too sensitive to it. It really isn’t personal and happens to EVERYONE. In fact, it’s a badge of honour!
Be generous and respectful of other professional authors. Remember we are part of a profession, we have shared experiences with others, can learn from others and should respect the viewpoint of experienced authors. Yes, some can be jaded and disillusioned, but they know things you need to know.
Prepare for being edited. It is a rigorous process which can be daunting, frustrating and annoying. But it is essential.
Be organized and systematic. Keep a chart of agents you have tried and what they have said. Only present to them again if you have altered your work and taken their advice. Nobody minds persistence, but don’t pester people without adhering to their tips.
Prepare for being edited. It is a rigorous process which can be daunting, frustrating and annoying. But it is essential and those who cannot accept direction may not survive long in the business.
Beware of social media and stories of people being discovered due to being very busy with online platforms. Yes, networking sites have an important place in the life of a contemporary author, but the internet can be a dangerous place and children and young people, in my view, should be communicated with in a more formal way, in terms of being an author.
Enjoy the process, because everyone wants to work with people who are fun, relaxed and spread positive energy.