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5 Famous Authors Who Fought the Odds

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5-Authors

5 Authors Who Fought the Odds and Lived their Passion

Life experience and passion are necessary to make any kind of writing pop off the page. The most famous authors today have meshed their life’s work, or their favorite hobbies, with their writing. Clive Cussler, Dan Brown, John Grisham and Robin Cook are a few of the authors that have written to their passion by writing about the subjects with which they are most familiar.

The writing of many authors seems more real because it is infused with their own life experiences. Some writers are inspired by personal tragedy or political beliefs. Some authors are motivated by a dysfunctional childhood to create a unique writing style or imaginary world.

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Who are Some Famous Authors Who Have Survived Incredible Odds?

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (1830–1886) was an American poet who lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. She was considered eccentric. Although she was a prolific poet, fewer than a dozen of her poems were published during her lifetime. Those that were published were altered significantly by publishers. It was not until after her death that the full scope of Dickinson’s work was discovered.

Steven King (1947-present) is, arguably, the top-selling author of horror novels in the United States. Many of his books have been made into successful motion pictures and mini-series over the decades. Mr. King wasn’t always successful. His first major work, Carrie (1973) was rejected over 30 times. His wife retrieved an early draft out of the trash and demanded that he finish it. In the late 1970’s, Carrie was made into King’s first blockbuster movie. Another struggle that the author dealt with was the desertion of his father  when King was 2 years old. The family was left near penniless. Steven King’s most recent complication occurred in 1999. He was walking on a rural highway when he was struck by a distracted driver. He suffered multiple injuries.

J.K Rowling (1965-present) is the United Kingdom’s top selling author. She writes the Harry Potter Series. She has had many challenges in her life, including the following: her mother’s illness and death, a challenging relationship with her father, domestic abuse during her first marriage (finally ending in divorce), a miscarriage, clinical depression, and poverty.

Malala Yousafzai (1997-present) is a Pakistani author, social activist, and youngest-ever Nobel Prize recipient. She was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. She fought for human rights, including equal education for girls, in her home province where the local Taliban had often banned females from attending school. She began blogging anonymously on the BBC Urdu website in 2008 about the militant Taliban’s growing influence. She kept blogging despite death threats. In October, 2012, she was shot three times by a Taliban gunman while traveling on her school bus. Yousafzai’s memoir I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, was published in October, 2013.

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was an American abolitionist and author. Her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) was a depiction of life for African Americans under slavery. It energized anti-slavery forces in northern states while provoking widespread anger in the southern states. President Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book helped the northern states to win the Civil War. She and her husband were critics of slavery. They supported the Underground Railroad by temporarily housing several fugitive slaves in their home.
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What Can These Achievers Teach Us?

• Address topics that impassion your imagination and real life. Harriet Beecher Stowe and Malala Yousafzai wrote about extreme social injustice. The works of J.K Rowling and Emily Dickinson are fueled by fantasy born of childhood isolation and personal trauma.

• Write on topics, or in styles, that will change the world. Uncle Tom’s Cabin opened the eyes of America to the horrors of slavery. Emily Dickinson’s groundbreaking style of poetry broadened the spectrum of that genre.

• Illuminate your own world as you envision it; readers may want to become temporary residents. Most people do not live in a world of haunted hotels, psychopathic high-school students and children, or cars that seem to come to life. Yet, Steven King’s horror novels have been bestsellers for over 30 years. Many readers choose to read to escape reality. They are looking for something new.

• Expose the truth at all costs, no matter how ugly it is. Malala Yousafzai fought to expose the repellant truth of legitimized social injustice in her own country despite bullying and an assassination attempt. I believe that the unbelievable perseverance of survivors like the five trendsetters listed above can inspire every author. They are inspirational in how they dealt with personal trauma, their refusal to quit, their groundbreaking techniques and topics, and their passion. May we follow their examples as we write to our own truth and passion!

Now it’s your turn:  How have you meshed your passion with your writing?
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Traci Lawrence writes about her passion: communication, relationships, the value of individuals and rising above verbal bullying, or trash talk. She lives in the Northern Virginia area of the United States and teaches English, among other subjects. Please find more on her blog, and read her book: Accept No Trash Talk

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Prequels: Author’s Benefits of Writing Them

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Prequel

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J.K. Rowling did it for Harry Potter – every writer should create them too: Writing a Prequel for their upcoming book.  According to the FreeDictionary:  “A literary, dramatic, or cinematic work, whose narrative takes place before that of a pre-existing work or a sequel. [pre- + (se)quel.] prequel.” They are teasers in short story form that preview the key characters and settings of an upcoming novel.
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Prequels: Promote Your Future Book Through Short Stories
Savvy authors are building excitement and attract readers to their upcoming books. Editor Alan Rinzler describes them: “Back stories for the longer book to come. Others are like outtakes from the novel, standalone narratives that add to our knowledge of the characters but don’t appear in the books themselves.  Prequels provide readers with the flavor and quality of the forthcoming book in a way that makes them yearn to read more. This technique has had notable successes lately, like propelling a book from obscurity to six-figure advances, and building pre-publication buzz and momentum.”
Rinzler mentions two authors, published by the “Big Five”: Brittany Geragotelis and thriller author Mark Sullivan.
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When and What to Write?
It is never too early to write a prequel.  You might write it even before starting to write your book, using your research, character outlines or your first draft manuscript. Often your novel has to be shortened to create a faster pace. Don’t delete these text parts! Create your prequel out of it. Or use locations where your novel takes place to elaborate and write in detail about it. For example:  If you write a thriller and your protagonist is an art dealer in Paris, you can write several prequels how and where in Paris your mystery unfolded, a comprehensive description of the main character and his dealings or a pre-story of the events.

No Limit on the Number of Prequels
The prequel can be one story or a dozen. However, it should be an irresistible preview of the book itself, short, but with a revealing scene from the draft manuscript of the novel, and a great teaser for the upcoming work. The author’s goal should be: to make the reader want more…
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Where to Publish a Prequel?
There is no limit how you publish a prequel. It could be a short story in the form of a magazine or website / blog article, a short (free or inexpensive) e-book or a guest blog, and even a video or slide show.  Most import is that you post it in as many venues as possible, including your Social Media sites. Even better are reader communities or forums, where people tend to spend more time, including sites, such as Google+, Wattpad and Goodreads or FictionPress, and send an invitation to load it down to your readers on your mailing list.
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Prequels are beneficial for you and your readers: Show off the quality of your forthcoming book, build pre-publication buzz and momentum and create back stories for the longer book to come. Don’t see prequels as a marketing gig, they are valuable parts of your author platform and brand.
Don’t forget:  Promotion of your book must start long before you finish your manuscript if you don’t want to loose sales and success!  Competition is growing by the day… Do what you as a writer likes most:  WRITE!  Not only 90.000-word-manuscripts, but also short stories and blog articles.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing:  We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about our individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 980 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
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3 Ways to Reach the Bestseller Lists

Bestsellers 2012

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Nick Thacker wrote a great blog post how authors can beat the bestseller lists. Here are some snippets from his post:

“Authors have tried to find the “magic bullet” method of getting their book placed side-by-side with the likes of Dan Brown, J.K. Rowling, and Robert Ludlum.  It’s a well-known fact that the bestseller lists e.g. at the NY Times Book Review are just proprietary algorithms that would make Google proud, and which select and churn out “bestsellers” left and right – sometimes before the book even hits the shelves.

It’s been rumored that these lists are contrived forms of propaganda intended to keep the “establishment media” agencies ahead of the game.

There’s another way to “the top.” While it isn’t via “traditional” channels, such as landing on a well-respected list or having a daytime spot on Oprah, but it’s a just as – or perhaps more-more-satisfying way to achieve success in the scary world of books: making a ton of money and attracting a bunch of new readers without the strings, constraints, and conditions of big publishing.”

Number one is: WRITING MORE BOOKS!  Number two and three…

Nick Thacker writes: “Over the past few months, I’ve studied just about every marketing tactic, promotional strategy, and book-selling trick known to the self-publishing world. Some worked, some didn’t, but I discovered a truth that authors like J.A. Konrath and others have been preaching for a while: The more books you have available to be purchased, the more you will sell.”

Read it all on Nick Thacker’s blog post and follow him on Twitter @NickThacker to find out why it is so important to have lots of books out there and what step number two and three to success are.
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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are more than 520 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

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Women On The Rise: The World’s Top-Earning Authors

Jeff Bercovici from Forbes  wrote recently: Watch your back, James Patterson. Sleep with one eye open, Stephen King.
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Watch out for women such as Janet Evanovich, who is the recipient of the Crime Writers Association’s John Creasy Memorial, Last Laugh, and Silver Dagger awards, as well as the Left Coast Crime’s Lefty award, and is the two-time recipient of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association’s Dilys award.

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Men still top the list of the world’s highest-earning authors, but this year it’s the women on the list who’ve been making the boldest moves, led by a trio of genre phenoms: Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games) , E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey) and J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter).


Read the whole story: Women On The Rise Among The World’s Top-Earning Authors

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are more than 520 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

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And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful.
Thanks, Doris

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Kathryn Stockett: Millionaire after 60 Rejections

The Help

The Help

… “A year and a half later, I opened my 40th rejection: “There is no market for this kind of tiring writing.”  That one finally made me cry. “You have so much resolve, Kathryn,” a friend said to me. “How do you keep yourself from feeling like this has been just a huge waste of your time?”  That was a hard weekend. I spent it in pajamas, slothing around that racetrack of self-pity—you know the one, from sofa to chair to bed to refrigerator, starting over again on the sofa. But I couldn’t let go of The Help.” Read the whole story:
http://www.more.com/kathryn-stockett-help-best-seller

And then there is J.K. Rowling
Describing her life before Harry Potter as a “mess,” Rowling lived with her daughter on welfare in a run-down council estate apartment while writing the book that started it all. Now she’s even wealthier than the Queen. To all the publishers who turned down her whimsical manuscript: You missed out on a fortune.
http://www.more.com/rags-to-riches-stars

Leave a comment: 
How many rejections did you get so far? More than 60? I am wondering how many bestsellers the big publishers missed. Wouldn’t it have been easier to self-publish (ebook and print) and better for Kathryns self-esteem – and then be picked up for bestsellerdom, making more money from the very beginning?

 

 

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