BOOK COVER REVEAL: Launch Timeline, Massive Giveaway and Big Changes 


I’m excited to announce that I’m launching a new book in October 2017…

Query Letter Swipe File

I’m really excited because the book is about the exact words, phrases and templates to write query letters, get literary agents and publish books for life.

  • Here’s a link to a free, short online presentation that I created and shared earlier today on social media:
  • Here’s the set of the PDF  slides from that presentation with clickable links (I had you at PDF didn’t I?)


I laughed out loud when I heard..

My book has been called the Mad Libs of Query Letters.

I laughed out loud when I heard that but it’s pretty accurate. It’s almost as if the query letter is written for you.

However, there are MAJOR distinctions between my book and Mad Libs:

  • My book is serious (although hopefully vastly entertaining in it’s own way)
  • The swipes in my book don’t give you cookie-cutter queries (far from it)
  • My book provides proven “recipes” that each writer can adapt to create an unlimited variation of perfect pitch

Why Query Letters?

I’ve spent the last 20 years excavating the patterns, forces and tactics that make literary agents say yes. These very same tactics allowed me to get a literary agent with my very first query letter.

Over the last six months, I’ve written over 100 query letters for other writers. Here is just some of the feedback that I have received:

“Again, above and beyond on his way with words. Superb ideas and word choices. Highly recommend!” – Tmanners555


“WOW! I’m amazed. If this letter doesn’t grab attention, nothing will. It’s the absolute best that I’ve ever read. Christopher takes his time and he delivers. I highly recommend him and without hesitation I’m going to hire him again.” – brooklynmom


“I literally cried when I got the query back, and there wasn’t one but THREE of them! As a 24/7 family caregiver- soon to be Sci-fi published novelist, I don’t have the income to pay top $ to a query writer/editor. Mr. Kokoski is a top dollar writer who is helping to other writers to further their dreams.Thank you so much Mr. Kokoski!” – mamanicey


Those reviews hold deep meaning to me because I love helping other writers fulfill their dreams.

As you might have guessed, I used the Query Letter Swipe File to write them. What surprised me most is that I was able to craft each query in less than an hour.


Without further ado, here is the cover of my new book which I’m in love with:

Untitled design (1)

What do you think? Let me know in the blog comments, on Twitter or on my Facebook page.




Because I want you to be completely in the loop, here are the important dates of my upcoming launch:

There is a massive swipe file giveaway open right now where you can enter for a chance to win $200 worth of swipe files including the following:

  • Synopsis swipe files
  • Viral blog swipe files
  • Author bio swipe files
  • Cover letter swipe files
  • Nonfiction query swipe files
  • And much much more.

You can see the full list of giveaway swipe files on this webpage. (Note: the pre-launch is not open yet so those “order” buttons will redirect you to a page to enter the giveaway. Or, you can scroll down to the bottom of the landing page to see the full giveaway list.)

If you want a cool count down to my book launch, check out this page.


  • The pre-launch starts on September 23 and runs only for two weeks. So the pre-launch bonuses are only available for two weeks and then they go away completely forever.
  • The official online launch for the book is set for October 7 
  • The live launch is set for October 14.

Other Things of Note:

  • As part of the launch, I am revamping my online platform
  • That includes my newsletter manager and website. I’ll be giving you more details in the next week or so but be on the lookout for a change of
    platform for my blog.
  • The good news is it will still be at, same domain name.

What Else Am I Doing? 

  • Guest posts on other blogs
  • Seeking guest spots on podcasts
  • Developing other products, freebies and live/online events to create buzz

Yeah, it’s a lot! If you want to hear about my Book Launch, let me know and I’ll write a few posts.

Finally, I created a WRITING SECRETS Community Facebook Group for swapping stories, struggles and strategies for writing bestsellers and drilling down deeper into my blog posts, books and courses on writing.

It’s a private Facebook Group for subscribers of my Writing Secrets newsletter. So sign up and then request to join here: Writing Secrets Community

Whew, this has been one heck of a loaded post about my book launch. Thanks for sticking it out with me.



20 Reasons You Should Quit Your Novel Right Now

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“Don’t give up.”

“Keep going.”

“Just get it done.”

As writers, so much of our energy is spent desperately clawing toward THE END. We cheer on other writers who moan, complain or struggle. And rightly so, because writing is hard business, full of anguish and self-doubt.

Supportive writing communities like NANOWRIMO (the National Novel Writing Month) are essential to curbing the temporary urge to throw up our hands in defeat. Together, or alone, we lift our chin and march on.

But…and this is a big BUT…

Often we don’t stop to consider if we SHOULD finish a novel.

Because, honestly, sometimes we should quit.

That’s what this post is about: why you should quit, why you shouldn’t, how to know if you should really quit and a simple, step-by-step process on how to go about quitting for good.

By the way, I should mention that Tim Ferris just released a powerful “round table” style podcast episode on quitting. It inspired this post. Listen to the full podcast here (Episode #254)

“Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.” –  Douglas MacArthur

See that quote?

The thing about the quote is that it is both powerful and revealing. As a pithy statement pinned up next to my “Don’t Quit” cat poster, I love it. As a life motto without exception? That’s where I believe so many of us wordsmiths go astray.

The MacArthur quote is indicative of how society (and writers included) look down on quitting. But I ask you: Why does quitting wrinkle the soul? Does it ALWAYS wrinkle the soul?

I’m not sure. I don’t think so.

But MacAurthur is right about one thing: quitting is hard on the mind, body and soul. Why is that?

Why It’s Hard To Quit

  • We don’t (seriously) think about it
  • There is a stigma around quitting
  • We would feel inadequate if we quit

We talk about quitting all the time. And why not? Writing is hard. Writing well is even harder. Yet, most of the time all our talk of quitting is just that: talk, and nothing more. We aren’t serious about quitting; we are just expressing the pain and stress and natural floundering of our creative struggle.

For most of us, quitting is not a real option. It’s a nice thought, sure, like the fantasy of selling all our possessions and traveling the world. But we never book the flight.

Added to lack of real commitment, there is the painful stigma that quitters are somehow “less than”, as if quitters wouldn’t have quit if they had the talent, skill or character to go on.

Yet, remember, some people DO sell all their belongings and travel the world.

A location free lifestyle is not just a fantasy for everyone. Some people live it. And neither is quitting a current project, work or pursuit a fantasy for everyone. Some  Lots of people quit. In fact, lots of highly successful, powerful, influential and dominating figures throughout history have quit.

“Letting go has nothing to do with ‘quitting.’ Ask yourself, ‘Am I sticking it out or am I staying stuck?’ You know yourself best.”

– Alex Elle, author

So quitting really is hard. No argument from me there. We double or triple think, doubt ourselves and trap ourselves in limited thinking. Is there really another way? Is there a compelling reason to quit?

Why You Should Consider Quitting

  • Successful people quit often
  • Save yourself time
  • Save yourself energy
  • To refocus on another more promising or more fulfilling project


Most of the time we focus on how successful people didn’t quit. There are myths and legends among writers about bestselling authors who persevered despite racking up a mountain of rejections. J.K. Rowling is just one (quite inspirational) example.

Persistence IS a huge trait of successful full-time authors. However, it’s not perseverance in everything. It’s not never quitting a story no matter what. That’s where confusion sets in for many aspirating writers because black-and-white thinking is often our default mode – especially when such thinking resonates with a commonly held belief like “quitting is bad.”

But what if it’s not so cut-and-dried? What if there are critical exceptions that can shift our perspective, lift us up and free us with infinitely more options?

The truth: It’s not that these bestselling authors of legend never quit; it is they never quit this ONE time on this ONE story.

The truth is that they likely quit many other projects many times before. They probably had to quit lots of other things to make room in their life to passionately persevere with the novel that eventually made it.

What does that mean for you?

  • It means that quitting is on the table
  • It means that quitting is an option
  • It means quitting might be the BEST choice
  • It means that quitting ONE thing might lead to a BETTER thing that changes EVERYthing.


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When you think about it, someone could easily argue that blindly pursuing a goal is just as “bad” as quitting a good project too early. In other words, maybe quitting isn’t ALWAYS bad and maybe not quitting isn’t ALWAYS good.

That brings us to the question of, “How do we know the right time to quit and the right time to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back to the story?”

While each person and project is unique – so there’s no easy answer that fits for everyone in every situation – there are patterns to notice and guidelines to follow.

Here are 20.

“If you fail, try again. If you still fail, quit. There’s no reason to be foolish.”


– Mark Twain

20 Reasons To Quit Your Book or Novel

  1. Quit if your gut tells you to quit
  2. Quit if you aren’t making progress
  3. Quit if it isn’t working
  4. Quit if someone beat you to it
  5. Quit if you don’t care anymore (hate it? Quit)
  6. Quit if you don’t believe in the mission (the idea or an associated vision)
  7. Quit if you are lukewarm (It’s either “hell yes” or it’s no)
  8. Quit if another, better opportunity comes along
  9. Quit if the world or market has changed (context matters)
  10. Quit if YOU have changed
  11. Quit if YOU aren’t ready
  12. Quit if it’s unethical
  13. Quit if it costs too much (the cost of time, money or energy outweighs the benefits)
  14. Quit if you’ve already tried your best
  15. Quit if it’s toxic (hurts you in some way)
  16. Quit if the timing isn’t right
  17. Quit if there is a higher priority
  18. Quit if your fans want something else (that you also love)
  19. Quit if you are only doing it for other people
  20. Quit if fear is the only reason to continue (fear is rarely, if ever, a good reason to continue a WIP)


There you have it: 20 good reasons to throw in the towel, scrap your story and get that dreaded day job at Kinkos.

But before you hit send on that resume, the next logical question is, “When don’t you quit?”

When NOT To Quit

  • When you are making progress but it’s slow
  • When it’s hard
  • When you are blocked
  • When YOU do still believe in the mission
  • When it gives you joy

Hard work, struggle and setbacks are not necessarily signs from the universe to pivot. Every great writer stumbled along the way.

So how do you really, REALLY know when to quit?

4 Step Process To Know When to Quit

  1. Decide on Your Metrics (preferably prior to beginning)
  2. Periodically Reassess: ask yourself the Quitting Questions (see below)
  3. Get Feedback from Trusted Mentors
  4. Try Quitting

Let’s take each step one at a time.

Decide On Your Metrics

First, decide on your metrics. Choose upfront how to measure your “success” so that temporary emotions don’t trigger permanent decisions.

So, how will you measure success?

  • Words written
  • Books published
  • Book sales
  • Facebook likes
  • Email subscribers?
  • Joy?
  • Helping others?


When you decide beforehand, you can gauge your progress (or lack thereof). And even better – give yourself a timeline to reach your metrics.

That way, if you reach them, you have a clearer sense that you are on the right path. If you don’t meet them, readjust your metrics OR move to step 2.

Periodically Reassess

Take time to assess your current WIP at regular intervals. Maybe once a week, once a month or every few months.

How do you asses yourself?

  • Get somewhere by yourself
  • Start with the metrics you came up with in Step 1
  • Then move to Step 3 & 4

Get Feedback From Trusted Mentors

After your personal gut check, now it’s time to check in with others. Let me save you some time: your (mom/dad/best friend) will love you no matter what you decide and people who don’t write will offer you vague generalities about not giving up.

Now that we have that out of the way, go find a trusted mentor. Someone wise and who, ideally, has achieved their own measure of success (however they define it).

What do you do or say when you meet with your mentor?

  • Lay out your situation, your feelings and thoughts up to this point.
  • If they are willing to listen, go through the Quitting Questions with them, explaining your answers.
  • Pause occasionally to see if they want to inject a response.
  • Ask for their honest feedback. Say, “If you were in my exact situation, what would you do and why?”

If you still are not yet sure if you want to quit or not, move to Step 4.

Try Quitting

Most people think of quitting as permanent.

But it’s not. Just ask any pro athlete who quit only to un-quit several months or years later. The truth is that quitting is only as permanent as you make it.

So why not TRY quitting out for a awhile? See if you like it. If not, you can always quit quitting.

Here’s a helpful framework for your quitting:

  • Give yourself a specific time frame (3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, etc).
  • Decide what you are going to do with the free “space” in your life (perhaps more time with the family, traveling or experiment with a new writing project)
  • At the end of the trial period, reassess with the Quitting Questions.



Is my gut telling me to quit?
Am I making progress?
Is it working?
Did someone beat me to it?
Is the opportunity gone?
Do I care?
Do I believe deeply in the mission?
Is it “hell yes”?
Is there a better opportunity? A more promising WIP?
Does the market still want/need this?
Have I changed? Am I still the right person for this idea?
Am I ready?
Do I have the experience, expertise and talent?
Is anything about it unethical?
Does it give me joy?
Does it cost too much (costs of time, money or energy outweighs the benefits)?
Have I tried my best?
Is it toxic?
Does it hurt me mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically?
Is the timing right?
Is there a BETTER time?
What matters most right now?
Does my audience want or need something else?
Why WOULDN’T I quit?
Is fear my only motivation?
Am I doing this for others or myself?


After your trial quitting period, you should be 100% certain (or as close as possible) if you want to return to your project or quit for good. If you want to go back to your WIP, by all means, go back.

Quitting isn’t the right choice every time. But at least now it is a real choice.

It really is about choosing your beliefs and behaviors. Another great example of bucking the status quo by choosing to believe differently (and more accurately) is in Jeff Goin’s newest book, Real Artists Don’t Starve. Read this post about the belief behind the book.

But let’s say you decide you really do want to quit for good. It’s over. You don’t want to go back and you’re wondering how to go from trial quit to permanent quit. Don’t worry. I have your back. Here are my suggestions on how to quit for good.

How To Quit For Good

  1. Take Time to Mourn the Loss. Even if you feel a rush of relief from letting go, there is still a loss involved. Nurture the loss, embrace and allow yourself to feel it until it naturally passes through you. This can help prevent procrastination, writer’s block and (in more extreme cases) bouts of depression.
  2. Take a Symbolic Action. Quitting this WIP may be a huge shift in your life. Mark it with a symbolic action, like locking the manuscript in a certain box or trunk. Perhaps toss the story notes or burn them. This kind of ritual can help solidify your decision and help in the process of moving on.
  3. Throw a Quitting Party. While there may be loss involved, there is also bound to be joy, relief and excitement about the future. Why not mobilize that positive energy into something fun? Throw a party. Invite your mentor, friends and family. Believe it or not, this kind of event can help those in your inner circle accept your decision to quit without feeling like a “failure” for not pushing you to “follow your dreams”. Just for fun, here’s a free Quitting Party Flyer you can use.
  4. Give Yourself Space. Take time to settle into quitting. Don’t trade one creative cage for another. Brainstorm, experiment, free yourself up to all the different possibilities for a new project.
  5. Go Slow. Don’t rush into your next project with abandon. Be thoughtful. Think it through. Don’t turn a good thing (quitting) into a bad next thing (jumping the gun). Your options are endless. Take your time. Play around with different ideas until something clicks with you. Make it a “hell yes” project. Make it fun and meaningful. Get feedback from others you trust. Design your metrics, give yourself a timeline, schedule self-assessments and – when you are ready – pull the trigger.


If you’ve read this far, the irony is that you haven’t quit a long article about the benefits of quitting. Does that mean the post worked or didn’t work? I’ll let you be the judge.

Me? I’m quitting.

At least for now. 

Authors: A brand new book on writing query letters is helping unknown, first-time authors crush their competition and get literary agents on their first try.

Get the exact words, phrases and templates to write the perfect query letter. It virtually writes the letter for you. The QUERY LETTER SWIPE FILE launches in October 2017, but you can enter the GIVEAWAY right now to have a chance to win $200 worth of bonus swipe files (like a synopsis swipe file, book review swipe file, online marketing swipe file and more!). Enter here or click the image below!

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REPOST: How I Built A $3,000 per Month Ebook Empire – Podcast


Image courtesy of

Lise Cartwright built a $3000 -$4,000 eBook empire from scratch.

Got your attention? Mine, too.

The Podcast

Here’s Lise explaining step-by-step how she did on the SELF-PUBLISHING SCHOOL podcast with Chandler Bolt.

Note: the podcast is 47-minutes of fun, actionable content.

Don’t have 47 minutes? Then let me suggest… 


The Workaround

  1. Save the podcast for later – maybe on your commute (It’s an awesome episode so I highly encourage you to hear the complete interview for yourself).
  2. Until then, read my quick hit list of personal highlights below

Hit List of Highlights

Here are my key takeaways from the podcast episode with Chandler and Lise. Note that these are just MY personal highlights – there is much more to the podcast. Something that I missed might be the ONE idea that changes your writing career forever.

  • Mind-map your ideas (Lise explains the process in the podcast episode)
  • Mind-map a series of books (fiction and nonfiction) BEFORE you start writing
  • You probably have a LOT more content inside you than you think
  • Research the book idea on Amazon before writing it so that you know there is a hungry market ready and willing to buy
  • You might have to start completely from scratch to find the book you were meant to write
  • Writing a (good) book in a week is possible. Lise’s book is a bestseller (as are her other books)
  • She wrote, edited and launched her first bestseller in a few weeks
  • When she launched, she didn’t have a big email list so she implemented a short, 7-day pre-order launch. The rest, she says, is history
  • Her mantra: “Done is better than perfect”

Her advice to other writers is brilliantly simple: “Don’t wait. Just go out there and do it.” (Paraphrased).

Don’t forget to catch the entire episode and drop YOUR highlights in the comments. 

Don’t miss the launch of my next book (coming soon) – tons of bonuses, a giveaway and a resource for writers like you’ve never seen.

Free Book: The Challenge 1/10-1/14/17 

Just a quick mid-week post to let you know that my nonfiction spiritual book THE CHALLENGE is free on Amazon today 1/10 -1/14/17. 

Grab your FREE copy here:

Even if this isn’t your usual type of reading, every free download helps so I’d appreciate you clicking through to the book. 

I could tell you about the book, but I thought you’d rather hear from someone else. This is a review from Volo Press: 


Let me know what you think on Twitter @Chris_Kokoski

7 Best Author Bios on Twitter 

Twitter bio writing is an art. That’s why I’m always amazed at the creativity packed into such limited space. 
You have 160 characters to explain yourself to the world. Forget elevator pitches. The Twitter pitch is self-marketing for the digital age.

If you’re well-known, you can get away with a simple Twitter bio like Stephen King.

Most of us aren’t in that category so I have listed some of my favorites below  in no particular order. What are yours? 

These bios are fun to read but they also offer up interesting patterns to emulate.

Notice that most of these bios include two types of information: professional and personal. 

There is a mix of writer  or book–related info and fun facts.

I write thriller novels. And I bake cupcakes for veterans.

Romance novelist AND back yard ninja. 

More Ways To Master The Twitter Bio

7 Twitter Bio Ideas That Entice Followers 

Or try this automatic Twitter bio Generator

Even more Twitter Bio ideas from Pinterest 

What To Do Next

  1. Post your twitter bio in the comments. 
  2. Tweet this blog post. 
  3. Check out my new book (see link below). 

BOOK LAUNCH – THE CHALLENGE, And How to Write The Best Amazon Book Review Ever

Today I have a series of BIG announcements: 

  • New book launch – THE CHALLENGE
  • Special Limited Time Offer
  • How to Write the Best Amazon Book Review Ever

Special Announcement #1: Book Launch

My new book, THE CHALLENGE, is officially up on AMAZON for pre-order. The publication date is set for 1/1/17. So that’s when it is officially official.

Here’s the Rundown

The visual:


The book trailer:

The short description: THE CHALLENGE is a nonfiction Christian book for sharing your faith.

The slightly longer description from the back cover:

A Powerful New Way to Share Your Faith With Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime – Even if you are an Introvert, Have No Time or Know Nothing about the Bible

Every Christian is commanded to share their faith. This evangelism guide does more than show you how to easily share the gospel; it virtually does it for you! Forget long sermons that alienate your friends and family or old, cheesy gospel tracts that no one wants to read. Winning debates doesn’t win souls.

  • Share your faith without fear – when you learn my simple zero rejection method, you’ll shake your head and wonder why you never thought of it before!
  • Lead your friends and family to Christ without Bible thumping, nagging or debating.
  • Easy Evangelism even if you know absolutely nothing about the Bible, apologetics or theology.
  • Quick Start Guide for Busy People that shows you how to share your faith without spending any extra time. No 3-hour conversations required!

Biblical Christian Evangelism Tactics to Trigger an Evangelism Explosion

  • Designed with sophisticated evidence-based behavioral change technology to trigger a series of insights for total life transformation
  • Generate unlimited curiosity about Jesus, truth, the Bible and God’s sovereignty

Ready to Make the Gospel Go Viral?

P.S. – Inside this book, you get access to UNLIMITED PDF DOWNLOADS of THE CHALLENGE so that you can share your faith with anyone, anywhere – even all over the world for international impact.

Order Now!

Special Announcement #2: Special Offer 

When order now, you get THE CHALLENGE for .99 cents plus you get a free bonus gift of THE CHALLENGE WORKBOOK. This special ends exactly on Jan 7th, 2017 so order now. 


Why .99 cents? 

My hope is that you’ll read the book, love it and post a review on Amazon. Right before you buy or gift copies for everyone you know.

Don’t know what to post in a review? No worries – I’ve got you covered. Simply copy and paste one of the reviews below:

Option 1: “Restored my faith in humanity. After reading it, I called my Mother, bought my wife flowers and donated my organs to monkeys fighting climate change!”

Option 2: “So good I quit my job so I could re-read it full time.”

Option 3: “Best thing since sliced bread. In fact, if it were made of bread, I would eat it. That’s how good it is.”

Option 4: “First book I ever read that I immediately wanted to cast in gold and frame above my bed.”

Whatever kind of review you choose, here’s where to post it: POST REVIEW HERE

(Note: You can post a review when the book is officially official on Jan 1, 2017.)

Get THE CHALLENGE at the special .99 cent price and grab your bonus copy of the THE CHALLENGE WORKBOOK for free!  (Access The Workbook from the link to PDF copies inside the book)

Please consider sharing this blog post with anyone you think might enjoy it! 

Christopher is currently writing the next book you’ll want to cast in gold. Keep up to date on his novels and books on writing by following this blog and signing up for his newsletter

REBLOG: How To Publish Anthologies, Boxsets and Run Multi-Author Promotions By Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a publishing powerhouse. 

Maybe you’ve seen his books, awesome YouTube videos or receive his email newsletter for authors. 

From personal experience, I can tell you he consistently shares lots of value, like: 

  • How to virtually garuntee your book shoots to the top 100 in your category on Amazon 
  • How to get hundreds (or thousands) of book downloads on launch day 
  • How to “rig” Amazon to basically sell your books for you 
  • The best free and paid advertising for your book
  • How to use “crowd” marketing to push visibility, build a complex web of backlinks and pull in book sales long term. 

Sound too good to be true? I would think so, too, if all of that information wasn’t in the following FREE blog post:

What do I get out of it? Nothing. I just saw good content worth sharing so I shared it.


Oh, and Derek has a new book out soon on Guerrilla Publishing. I just preordered it on Amazon. 

Maybe you want to check it out, too, so just click on this link here

(FYI: That’s NOT an affiliate link)

By the way, I also have several books for authors coming out in early 2017. If you want to keep up with my new releases, join my newsletter community

Book Launch: Clara and Claire by Lindsey Richardson

Today I’m celebrating a friend and fellow author’s book launch of her new novel, CLARA AND CLAIRE.

One thing I love about authors is how much we support each other.

The novel is available on Amazon for $2.99.

Yep, the cover is amazing.

The story starts off with a bang (which is one of my favorite things for authors to do).

Here’s a short excerpt:

Click here for a longer excerpt curtesy of Amazon LOOK INSIDE: 

Sample Excerpt

Lindsey is having a Facebook event for the launch all day. It’s a public event so check it out here and don’t forget to grab a copy of the book! 

Grab A Copy Of Clara and Claire

The Rejection Myth: Why Getting Rejected Is Great For Your Writing Career

Getting rejected is great for your writing career. 

Really? Yes!

That may be surprising since most writers loath rejections. For good reason: They can be downright devastating. 

You send out your query letter, synopsis and sample chapters. You wait for months and months (and months and months). 

Then, one day you open your email account and see a response from a literary agent or publisher. 

Only to read…

Ok, maybe not that rough. 

To be fair, though, even the ambivalent “We are not looking for books in your genre” or “This is no reflection on the quality of your work” can be just as demoralizing.

No question about it, rejection feels terrible. 

But that doesn’t mean it IS terrible. 

Why Rejection is Actually Good For You

  • Rejection is part of the publishing process 
  • Rejection motivates you to write better
  • Rejection thickens your skin
  • Rejection is what most Bestselling authors experienced before breaking out. 
  • Rejection is the most common path to eventually launching a long-term writing career  

Rejection isn’t all bad. Rejection is surprisingly good for you and your writing career. 

If you are getting rejected, you are in good company.  

So embrace rejection. Wear it as a literary badge of honor. Then go out and write your next breakout novel. 

Free book download

Deconstructing A Bestseller: The Way I Used To Be

One of the proven paths to mastery in almost anything is to study the masters. 

Today I’m testing out a new series idea. 

Thankfully, in writing there is no shortage of masters. Books surround us everyday, whispering their secrets to those attentive enough to hear them. 

One current master is Amber Smith, author of the bestseller THE WAY I USED TO BE. 

Download a free ebook on crafting Bestseller titles 

Here is the opening paragraph to her book about the lasting vestigages of sexual abuse: 

Notice the first sentence. It rolls off the tongue. You don’t expect a story to start off telling you what someone doesn’t know, which is exactly why it works. Who is this person? What don’t they know? And why? 

All of these questions rush in at once, compelling the reader onward. 

What I also love are the flowing follow up sentences that build off the first. We find out what this person didn’t know, but the answers raise more questions — why did the door click shut? Who shut it? Why worry about locking the door? 

Something bad must have happened.

That’s the thing. The short intro paragraph not only pulls the reader along with growing curiosity but also with rising dread. 

Without being direct, the author reveals new layers of conflict and revelation. The reader comes to these conclusions on their own but only within the context carefully crafted by the author. 

So much information condensed into such tight literary real estate. 


What lessons can we, fellow word-slingers, cull from this excerpt? 

  • Start with something wrong
  • Describe things indirectly so readers come to their own (predestined) conclusions.
  • Raise a series of questions 

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