Greetings and happy almost Summer Liz Minions Followers! I hope you’ve had a great month.
I’m happy to say that I have. I figure I’m due. But you know, that’s all relative.
It got me thinking (as I do) about the “next step” in my process towards Total World Authorial Domination. You know, that plan whereby I become this super cool combination of JK Rowling on twitter and Stephen King on selling books rights for movies/TV. I’m going to speak of this topic because it’s time for a collective revisit. Especially now that I have a different perspective and can helpfully provide that by way of keeping you motivated (a.ka. the purpose of the heretofore mentioned and hyped regular blog post: The Pro Rookie).
Back in May 2015, I asked myself (and you) a few pertinent questions about a certain goal. In “The Secret Agent,” I waxed quite philosophical and in typical hilarious form about the reason why I wanted a literary agent. At that time, I was five months into a year’s worth of querying via some kind of website, using a romantic/suspenseful/medical/thriller manuscript I’d labored over for quite some time. I was positively full of piss and vinegar—but what else is new? I love shiny new things and the website I was using then made me feel like I was taking positive, organized steps toward The Goal.
“Why an agent, Liz?” you asked me (then, via my active imagination that also has you all sitting in a circle at my feet, refilling my beer and awaiting my next wisdom-laced bon mot). “Who needs one of those? I just write, edit, cover and hit publish myself. Who wants all that horrible, picky, rejection-filled querying anyway?”
Well, I did. I wanted help to make my level-up and so I did my research, targeted several agents I wanted based on their track records and author lists and got busy. I sent half a dozen or more queries a week during that heady time. And I’m sad to say, nothing happened. So I stopped. I gave up on that line of offense. I focused elsewhere. I found more readers via Kindle Worlds, via building my newsletter, via being a normal person online, via writing books that got good editing and reviews.
But the dream remained.
In the interim between May 2015 and today, I submitted a revamped novel, pitched it as a series and found a wonderful new publisher (Totally Bound). I also did something that many authors advise: I stuck the apparently un-sellable romantic/suspenseful/medical/thriller thing in a drawer and forgot about it. But when January 2017 rolled around I’d written something new, something craft-beer based, something that was straight up romance with all the necessary genre requirements but in my more realistic style. I got it Beta-d and edited. I revised and re-revised. And then I picked a fresh group of agents and jumped right back on my favorite well-worn horse circling the query-go-round.
I was over rejection. I could take it. I was going to find the agent who valued my voice, my work ethic, my backlist, and who would help me level up.
The point of this, grasshopper, is obvious. And it proves all the annoying little sayings people toss at you when you get discouraged over sales, over rejection, over watching authors who don’t possess 1/10th of your talent in your humble opinion sail to the top of All The Lists while you toil in the dirt, grubbing for a few hundred bucks a month.
You know…The price of success is hard work…blah blah. All those fabulous and useful things (mostly) men have said. I myself prefer this quote:
“A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.” – Sonia Sotomayor
Because right when I was beginning to wonder about myself, doubt my ability to achieve my goal, worry that I just wasn’t good enough, to lose my confidence in myself the way I did back in 2015, something happened to change that. Something truly awesome. And something I got for myself not by being in the right place at the right time but by tenacious research, continuous learning-by-rejection, and a willingness to adjust/revise and keep up all the effort required.
I got an R&R from An Agent I Wanted.
I got more than that, but it took some time and a metric ton of patience on my part (something I am not good at, dear ones).
I’m at a new phase of this thing now. I’m the cocky high school senior facing the teeming college campus. I’m the fresh out of med school know-it-all staring down the barrel of a competitive internship.
I’m a rookie again.
And I love it.
Don’t give up. Don’t ever, ever, ever, give up.** But don’t think you’re so great that you won’t get rejected, won’t have to admit that your Pulitzer-worthy tome is actually more like a crappy first draft with potential. I have no idea how long or short a time it will take me to level up with my agent’s help. But the things she said to me during these past few weeks of “process” have given me hope all over again.
I can assure you, I have a TON of new sh*t to do, now that she’s taking the reins of the Liz machine. But I made it here. Now it’s time to get work.
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart
**this applies to you no matter your authorial goal—getting an agent, finding a few more readers, getting a few more reviews, getting to 10k likes on your fan page, whatever it is.
Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.
Liz’s latest release is LIGHTSTRUCK, book 2 of The Brewing Passion, a unique new romance series set in the trending world of the craft brewery. Meet the owners, employees and friends of Fitzgerald Brewing as they live, love, lust and laugh their way through the ups, downs and sideways shifts of small business ownership, from Totally Bound.
Ross Hoffman held the potential for a perfect life in his hands—a life with Evelyn, the only woman he’d ever allowed himself to love, their baby, and…her husband, Austin Fitzgerald, who also happened to be his best friend. But the challenge of trying to make a threesome into something acceptable—much less the thought of actually sharing Evelyn with anyone—forces him to bolt. Determined to put all thoughts of their relationship behind him, Ross jumps headfirst into a new brewery job in Colorado, and back into the sort of sexual decadence that he hopes will distract him from his misery.
When he agrees to assist Austin through a spate of brewery mishaps, he lays eyes on his true fate—in the form of the petite, mysterious, and exotic Elisa Nagel. Hired as assistant brewer, Elisa is absolutely everything he believes he doesn’t want in a woman. But he’s drawn to her in ways he can’t explain, and can’t help but fall hard, fast, and deep, which places him square the middle of her horrific, until-now secret backstory.
Ross is determined that his love will conquer and overcome the horrors of Elisa’s past, allowing her to trust him with the only thing he desires—her heart.
Get your copy here: