According to Kindle author Amanda Hocking, if you’re going to succeed in the Kindle ebook publishing market, you’ve got to have more than passion; you’ve got to have a serious work ethic.
Hocking ought to know – she’s the most recent in just a few authors who found themselves selling more than $1m in ebooks via Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
This is the second in a series I’m working on to study Hocking’s success – you can read the first one right here – it’s called Amanda Hocking: Talented Super-Writer or Lucky Duck? and it offers a brief rundown of her story, if you’re not familiar with it.
As we continue the study, we’re looking today at what Hocking learned from years of getting rejected by editors and agents.
Rejected, Revise, Repeat: The Success Mindset
Hocking writes that early in her career, she found herself submitting novel after novel to traditional publishers and receiving rejection after rejection. She spent her working hours in a restaurant, waiting tables, and her writing hours wherever she could. But she wrote like it was a second job.
HOLD UP – let me say that again.
Secret of Success #1: TAKE THE WRITING AND MARKETING SERIOUSLY
Even when she worked a full-time “real job” as a waitress, Hocking took her work seriously, and she treated her writing and book marketing stuff like it was her second job.
Sure, she got rejected. Over and over again. She re-wrote, re-edited and re-revised – and often, resubmitted. And then, again, rejection.
But she never gave up. HEAR ME?
Secret of Success #2: NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR WRITING IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A CAREER OF IT!
Even though they always rejected her, the editors and agents didn’t always send her JUST a form letter.
Often, it’d have a personal note scrawled at the bottom with a tip or two for her about how to improve the storyline or a character.
In my experience, a personal bit of advice inside a rejection from an editor is a good sign that you’ve got something worth reading, or at least that they see potential in you as a writer.
Secret of Success #3: TAKE CRITICISM AS AN OPPORTUNITY
Editor’s Advice Leads to Higher Quality Manuscripts
Sometimes Hocking even received personal advice from the editors who rejected her submissions.
Though the initial feeling of being criticized likely stung a bit, Hocking says she quickly figured out that there was something to it.
That’s when she started digging into her manuscripts and killing her darlings, as it were.
Next time in the Amanda Hocking Case Study, I’ll share some of the best advice Hocking says she received from the editors who rejected her work early in her career.