Author Sydney Lawrence has dabbled in many things in her life, from painting to raising cows. She is a fan of old movies and Britcoms. An avid reader, Sydney often finishes more than a novel a week. She wishes she could write equally fast. Learn more about her and her books at her Goodreads author page.
Failure—it’s not a word anyone likes to hear, least of all me. I prefer soaring success! Who doesn’t? Yet, along my path as a writer, I’ve encountered rejection. I think it just goes along with the work. Don’t believe me? Even Stephen King and the wildly successful J.K. Rowling have tasted the stings of rejection. I have to remind myself that this business is not for the thin skinned.
My latest bitter taste of failure came in the form of an Amazon Kindle Scout campaign. If you haven’t heard of the program, it is a mix of choosing novels to publish by popularity and then a deciding word from the Amazon Kindle Scout editors. A book’s campaign is under way for thirty days in which members can vote on your novel.
Let me stop here and say this is a brutal undertaking! It sounds simple enough at first but to keep a book campaign at the top of the popularity on the site actually takes a very well developed social media following combined with round-the-clock marketing. Worse yet, even if you do manage to keep the book hot and trending, meaning it’s popular with voters, Amazon’s editors still have the final say. Some books that lit up the charts were ultimately not published.
I began my campaign for a Christian romance novel called Date with a Billionaire. I worked and pushed but it slipped in popularity. I waited anxiously to find out the results of the campaign from the editors. When I received my “Thanks but no thanks” email confirming my book hadn’t been chosen, I was deflated. Does this mean I think the Amazon Kindle Scout program is a bad idea? No, not at all. I think it gives authors and readers a chance to see unique books that might otherwise not be published. It was also a valuable learning experience for me in marketing. Those brutal 30 days were a trial by fire.
For me though, one of the best takeaways of the failure was freedom. Up to then, I’d only written romance novels. If I’d actually won the campaign, I’m sure I would have felt compelled to write a similar book. That’s what readers would expect, right? However, failure granted me another option. Why not try something different? So, I did. I wrote the short novel The Girl Within, a dark first person, psychological thriller. I loved the change of pace. I don’t like to ‘fail’ any more than the next person, but sometimes the lessons from a stumble outweigh our successes.
As it turns out, Date with a Billionaire, is doing okay, too. Readers like it and that’s always the ultimate success in my little world.
The Girl Within
Elizabeth Lyons steps into a nightmare when she returns home to find her husband and young son missing. Nothing is as it seems in this dark, psychological thriller.
Will Elizabeth unravel the tangled mystery or succumb to her worst impulses?