Wednesday, January 7, 2015


You no doubt recognize my post title today as a popular saying when life throws you a curve and your best-laid plans need a drastic revision. Along with a popular joke that represents the pain and frustration that accompanies the discovery of the glitch that drives you back there. The joke is this: “If you want to see God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

My now-rejected plans are the result of good news, which is  ironic to say the least. And the good news is that I came close to having the book I entered in Amazon’s Kindle Scout program accepted for publication.

For any of you not familiar with Kindle Scout, Amazon started it a few months ago and, like many Amazon programs, it’s free to authors. All a writer must do is submit a never-before-published novel in one of three genres: Romance, Mystery or Science Fiction. Details can be found by Googling Kindle Scout. Submit your entire novel, along with a brief summary, a very short Blurb, and your Bio, your picture and your book cover image. That information goes on the site and readers, who are the Scouts looking for books they’d like to see published, have thirty days in which to nominate their favorites.

When my thirty days were up, Amazon notified me that my submission was being considered for publication, which would make me eligible for a $1500 advance. I was on Cloud Nine. That was Day One. On Day Two another message arrived, saying in effect, “Sorry, your book is not being considered after all.”

But I wasn’t ready to give up. The novel I entered was the first of a proposed mystery series and Book Two was already written. All I had to do was submit it. And if their judges liked it as much as my first one, they might consider one or both.

Well, not quite. Here’s where my plan fell apart. Book Two needed a lot of work. I’d originally written both books a long time ago and, when they didn’t sell, I put them away and forgot about them. Luckily, I have a pen-pal who’s a lawyer and she spotted all the things I didn’t know about the law when I wrote the second book and that I’d got wrong.

Therefore, instead of spending a few days to prepare and send my submission, I’m faced with a few weeks of work to rewrite and get my facts straight. Would I have spent all those hours researching facts about Titanic while writing COLD APRIL if I were willing to permit mistakes in this mystery novel?

Every writer needs a lawyer (or other professional) to call on at times like this, and I’m grateful my friend came through for me. As I’ve said before, writers with friends are the luckiest people in the world.” (Or maybe Barbra Streisand said that.)


  1. Hi Phyllis,

    Thanks for the tip about Amazon Scout. I have a story that is going through final edits. Should be done in a week. If I submitted to Scout I'd have to withhold publication until they pronounced on it for a month. Correct me if I'm wrong. So, maybe the next one, because I want this one on Kindle and Createspace asap.


    1. Bob. you're right. You'd have to wait 30 days. But good luck on the next one. Writing new books frequently is an advantage for you.


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