Over the years, I’ve attended both the San Diego State University Writer’s Conference and the Southern California Writers Conference. Like most conferences and conventions, the theme is very specific. These two focus on the world of literature and publishing. It’s a great opportunity for an aspiring writer to hobnob with fellow authors, agents, editors, and publishers. These conferences also offer workshops that cover a wide array of literary-related topics.
One of the events I most enjoyed was the “Read & Critique Workshops”. Picture a group of writers—all high-strung and uptight, desperately wanting to be discovered—huddled in a crowded room. Each author has the opportunity to read passages from their latest effort and the other authors offer constructive feedback. Well, you might think that this is a great idea, but remember that you’re dealing with writers who are very passionate about their books and don’t always accept criticism in the spirit in which it was intended. Tempers do flare and some people storm out the door.
The one thing that always struck me about these Read & Critique Workshops was the number of highly talented writers who were yet unpublished. I used to think to myself, “If these writers can’t find an agent or a publisher, then I’m totally screwed.”
Back then, an author had two ways to get published: #1Find a literary agent willing to represent you (trust me, it’s easier to win the Lottery), and hope and pray that he or she can make a deal with a publisher. #2 Self publish through what were once called “Vanity Presses” (a very expensive proposition), fill your trunk with over-priced books, and try to peddle them to independent bookstores. Those days—thank God— are gone.
The literary landscape today is a completely different world. It has gone through an amazing evolution over the last few years. With the launch of Amazon publishing, currently releasing books under five different imprints, and the growing opportunities for self-publishing and print-on-demand, not to mention the emergent world of e-books, the literary marketplace has experienced some major changes—all for the good. These changes have opened the door for many authors who in the past never got a chance to showcase their work. Many previously undiscovered authors are now in the limelight. This is a long-overdue literary revolution.
I am one of those writers who stumbled upon an amazing opportunity to publish
through Amazon Encore. Like so many other writers, for years I was an author trying to get published with no success. But now my second thriller novel, RESUSCITATON, released a few weeks ago, was a #1 Kindle bestseller in the UK, and is currently getting reviewed in major newspapers like the San Diego Union Tribune, which said: “Annechino delivers chills and thrills in a skillful manner.” Finally recognized for my writing talent after so many frustrating years is a great feeling.
It took twenty hard years of writing four novels and dealing with a daily diet of rejection to finally get a break. The message here is simple: If writing is your passion, don’t give up the fight. Never forget that rejection is a prerequisite of success.