This past weekend I was speaking in Spokane, Washington at the Inland Northwest Christian Writers Conference. It was my first
time at this terrific event and the fourth year for this conference.
Besides giving a couple of workshops, I met throughout the day with various
writers to speak with them about their book projects and to guide them about
what they can do next to achieve their dreams.
I love this opportunity to hear about different books and help them learn
more publishing. I heard about some wonderful books for different target
audiences. In each case, I gave the author my business card and encouraged them
to send me their material so we can consider publishing it at Morgan James. While I
know our program isn't right for every author, our company has many unique
benefits which I stressed during the meetings.
I've been meeting with authors at these conferences for years and here's what
I understand: few of these authors will carry through and actually send me their
material. If they do, then they will be the exception. I'm actively looking for
terrific authors that I can champion to my publication board and get them a book
contract. For the last two years, I've been sending contracts to authors
almost every week.
Yes we receive many submissions at Morgan James (over
5,000 each year) and less than 3% of those submissions are actually
contracted and published. It's a long shot for every author—but here's the
reality: you can't get published if you don't send in your proposal or part of
your manuscript. You have to take action as an author to achieve your
During the conference, I saw a woman who looked familiar. Over a year
earlier, we had met at the Seattle conference and talked about her book idea.
She reminded me of the idea and I expressed my continued interest to champion
this author and her idea.
“What happened to your book?,” I asked.
“Oh, life got in the way and I haven't sent it anywhere,” she admitted.
This sort of situation happens much more frequently than you would think.
People are amazed at my number of published books (over 60) or the number of
magazines that I've had articles published (over 50–-I stopped counting a long
This type of publishing success does not come from being the best writer in
the room or the most skilled communicator. I am persistent and I do follow
through on the open doors. If an editor says to me, “That's a good idea. Write
that up and send it to me.” Then I take that editor's statement at face value
for the opportunity. I go home, write up the material and send it to the editor.
Yes I get
rejected and not every one of my submissions get published. Rejection is a
part of the process of finding the right opportunity at the right time at the
right place. Yes a number of rights need to line up for that opportunity to
You can't get published simply cranking out the material on your computer and
leaving it there. You have to take action and follow-through and send it to the
editor. If you do this simple step, you will be the exception and give yourself
the best possible chance for success.
You have to do the work and craft an excellent manuscript. Writing is hard
work and takes a lot of effort from you as an author. But you have to take one
more step—connect with an editor and follow-through on what they requested.
I'm hoping you will be one of those authors in the small percentage who
actually send in their material and get their books into print. It is
possible for you if you will be the exception.
Labels: call to action, Morgan James Publishing, publication, rejection, submissions, writers