Welcome to the “FINDING BILLY BATTLES TRILOGY” Blog Tour! @JHawker69 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA

I am thrilled to introduce you to an award-winning author and his trilogy, The Billy Battles books!

Dealing With the Dreaded Rejection Letter

If there is one thing most authors have in common, besides the sheer agony that sometimes accompanies the writing process, it is the dreaded Rejection Letter from an agent or publisher.

I don’t know who got this one from Harlequin, but it had to be devastating to the person receiving it.

I have received a few rejection letters–though none like the one from Harlequin.

Most authors–even wildly successful authors–have also received their share of rejection missives.

Don’t believe me?

Just take a look at this list of rejection letters that were sent by publishers and agents to world-renowned, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. It is simply part of the creative process, and you need to keep moving ahead–just as these authors did.

—“The American public is not interested in China,” a publisher wrote Pearl S. Buck. Her book The Good Earth becomes the best-selling US novel two years running in 1931/32, and wins The Pulitzer Prize in the process.

Alex Haley writes for eight years and receives 200 consecutive rejections from publishers and agents. His novel Roots becomes a publishing sensation, selling 1.5 million copies in its first seven months of release, and going on to sell 8 million.

—“He hasn’t got a future as a writer,”a publisher opines. Publication of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold leads to its author, John le Carré, having one of the most distinguished careers in literary history.

—“Hopelessly bogged down and unreadable,” a publisher tells Ursula K. Le Guin in a 1968 rejection letter. She was not deterred, and her book The Left Hand of Darkness goes on to become just the first of her many best-sellers and is now regularly voted as the second best fantasy novel of all time, next to The Lord of the Rings.

The Christopher Little Literary Agency receives 12 publishing rejections in a row for their new client, until the eight-year-old daughter of a Bloomsbury editor demands to read the rest of the book. The editor agrees to publish but advises the writer to get a day job since she has little chance of making money in children’s books. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone byJ.K. Rowlingspawns a series where the last four novels consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, on both sides of the Atlantic, with combined sales of 450 million.

—“It is so badly written,” a publisher tells this author. Dan Brown is not discouraged, however, and tries Doubleday where his book makes an impression. The Da Vinci Code eventually sells 80 million copies.

—“Too different from other juvenile (books) on the market to warrant its selling,” says a rejection letter sent to Dr. Seuss. His books have racked up $300 million in sales, and he is now the 9th best-selling fiction author of all time.

See what I mean?

Editors, agents, first readers who dig through the publisher’s slush pile–all are quite capable of making bone-headed decisions about other people’s work. And they do it all the time.

So if you have a stack of rejection letters sitting on your desk or stuffed into a file cabinet, don’t despair. You are not alone.

What you should do, instead of becoming despondent and inconsolable, is read those rejection letters carefully and look for the constructive criticism in them.

In most cases, you will find some–though as one publisher told an author many years ago: “This manuscript should be buried under a pile of rocks and forgotten for the next thousand years.”  (That book went to become a bestseller and was even made into a movie. Its name: Lolita.)

Phrases like that can be a bit disheartening–even to the most thick-skinned scribbler.  So far I have not received anything quite so venomous…though I have had my go-rounds with a few agents and editors who couldn’t see the value of what I was working on.

Now that I am writing fiction rather than nonfiction, I am finding that I no longer care what an agent or publisher may think of my work. I find that especially satisfying when I can see that customers on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads like my book and are giving it mostly 5-stars with a handful of 4-star ratings.

That tells me that I must be doing something right.

The key is believing in yourself and the story you are telling. You will NEVER please everybody. There will always be those who don’t understand or just don’t like your book or books. That’s life.

But it is critical that you DO NOT stop believing in what you are writing. Does that mean you should ignore valid and constructive criticism?

No, it does not. If somebody has taken the time to tell you what is wrong with your book or why he or she didn’t like it, you should also take the time to consider that criticism and learn from it.

It doesn’t mean you should give up, stop writing and walk away from your computer. Writing is a skill that cannot be taught–at least not in the same way one learns calculus or biology.

It must be learned. And we learn to recognize good writing by reading.

Then we learn how to write by writing, writing, writing–even if the writing we do is terrible, with way too many adjectives in place of strong action verbs or way too many compound-complex sentences that give readers migraines as they slog through page-long paragraphs.

Reading should be fun–not a chore. And only you, the writer, can dictate that.

So if a rejection letter says your prose is ponderous and pretentious, or your story is tedious and byzantine, you might want to take a hard, critical look at what you have written.

And after doing that if you still disagree with the author of that rejection letter, then by all means, plow ahead. You may be right and that agent or editor may be wide of the mark.

Time and book sales will tell.D

Ronald E. Yates is an award winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.

Ron is a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media. His award-winning book, “The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles,” is the second in his Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels and was published in June 2016. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014. Book #3 of the trilogy (The Lost Years of Billy Battles) was published in June 2018.

As a professional journalist, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places. His work resulted in multiple journalism awards, including three Pulitzer nominations and awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Inter-American Press Association, to name a few.

BOOK PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KHDVZI/-/e/B00KQAYMA8/

TRILOGY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DNDWHH6/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/finding%20billy%20battles/_/N-8q8

MY WEBSITE & BLOG:  https://ronaldyatesbooks.com/

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ronaldyatesbooks/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/jhawker69

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/bookmarketingglobalnetwork/author-ronald-e-yates-books/

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronyates/

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  


Lastly, Ron is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC}! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, 
JOIN US! We’d love to have you!

J
Thanks for supporting this author and his work!  

47 thoughts on “Welcome to the “FINDING BILLY BATTLES TRILOGY” Blog Tour! @JHawker69 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA

  1. Fascinating and enlightening introduction to this triologhy by Ronald E. Yates. The trials and tribulations of getting a
    book published could kill anyone’s confidence but yet so many go ahead – over and over again. What stamina.
    I wish these books a great future and of course the same to the authour.

    Miriam

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Though devastating, rejection letters make writers more determined to succeed, as they provide the best inspiration. Reminds me of Emily Dickinson’s poem: “Success is counted sweetest by those who never succeed, To comprehend a nectar requires sorest need….”
    Wishing you great success Ron. Thank you Jan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another great post from Ron. My first (non-fiction) book was rejected multiple times. “Empty Chairs” went on to sell very well. However, I read through the hundreds of reviews and some of the marvelously constructive criticism I received led me to a rewrite of the book and book 2 in the series. I believe my work improved enormously as a result of the folks that had taken the time to tell me where they believed it needed improvement. Thanks for hosting Ron today, Jan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, Soooz, I can’t imagine a publisher rejecting “Empty Chairs.” Wow! What idiots! I totally get the rewrite aspect, having done that with “Flowers and Stone.” The more we write, the more we learn and the better we get! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🦋 I smile about those rejections now. Writing will always be a huge learning curve for me, and that’s as it should be. If we cease to learn, we cease to grow.❤️️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for that collection of rejections, Ron. Very interesting.

    The Harlequin rejection has to be a joke, right? It makes me want to write one even more scathing. “I was obliged to spend two hours with cucumber slices on my eyes to relieve the agony they suffered reading your manuscript.”

    Thanks for hosting, Jan.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Blimey, I thought the Harlequin rejection was a spoof … obviously not! That is just mean! A great collection of famous authors and it is heartening in some ways that they too had to fight for recognition! Trust an eight-Year-old to be partly responsible for J K Rowlings’ success.

    It’s lovely to meet Ronald here, Jan and learn about this interesting trilogy!

    Happy Weekend to you both! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I do have a collection of rejection letters. I was always happy to get a handwritten one over a form. It’s been a while since I’ve ventured out in that area. Great article about this subject. Thanks for hosting Jan:)

    Liked by 1 person

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