Thank You, Next – Writers’ Edition

thank-you-362164_1280 (002)Anyone who follows pop music today has heard Ariana Grande’s song, Thank U, Next (not totally safe for work, FYI), an ode to the wisdom she has learned from her past loves. The moral of the song is that even failed relationships teach you important things, so they are valuable.

So, that got me thinking, what would such a song might look like if written by indie writers? These are the failures indie writers can be thankful for and what they’ve taught us.

Thought I’d publish my first draft. That was a mess. Yes, there are some authors who write the first draft and decide to hit publish. Or they write and revise, but never take it to beta readers or an editor. Usually, that proves to be a mistake. Most authors need to revise, get feedback from beta readers, and get an editor before publishing their final product. These interim steps help ensure readers get a fully formed story in the best shape it will be. But, for those who made the mistake of publishing that story before it was fully polished, thank you reviews and sales for reminding us to never do that again. Thanks. Next.

Made some covers myself. Now I look and just laugh. Yes, everyone has been at the cover stage and wondering what to do. Often, people will fancy themselves artistic, or simply realize they can’t afford a great cover artist and attempt to tackle it themselves. It almost never works out well. Covers are the gateway to books, and they make a huge impression on readers. Books that do well despite a bad cover, are doing just that: succeeding in spite of a hindrance. They’d do ten times better with a good cover.  (Check out our book cover resource page.) Unfortunately, most books cannot succeed with a bad cover. So, for all the bad covers we made, thinking we were all that, we say thank you for showing us the error of our ways. Thanks. Next.

Even almost signed with a vanity publisher. I’m so thankful for not doing that. While Grande’s song mentions her thankfulness for not marrying the wrong guy, writers who considered vanity presses are pretty thankful they didn’t sign contracts with those scammy publishers. Vanity presses promise publishing success, but generally just want to bilk writers for money. Those who did sign on before realizing these folks were scam artists had to go through the hassle of a publishing divorce (i.e. trying to get out of that contract by hiring lawyers or being stuck until it ran its course). Those who happened upon IU’s Predatory Publishers Recap guide or saw the vanity publisher outed elsewhere were lucky not to be tied up contractually with something that would not be a good fit. While looking at the contract and almost signing on could’ve been fraught with peril, we’re thankful we saw it and passed. When we sign onto a contract, we want it to be a good fit with a legitimate publisher that lasts. Thanks. Next.

While we could go on (marketing failures, anyone?) we’ll throw the ball to your court. If you could add a verse to Thank You, Next, writer’s edition, what experience would you thank and what did it teach you?

Author: RJ Crayton

RJ Crayton is a former journalist turned novelist. By day, she writes thrillers with a touch of romance. By night, she practices the art of ninja mom. To learn more about her or her books, visit her website or her Author Central page.

4 thoughts on “Thank You, Next – Writers’ Edition”

  1. I read your article and typed out this song, maybe I’ll use it in my podcast one day.
    Thank you for the Inspiration.


    I ain’t got no book to sell, into the writing trap, I fell.
    I got an idea for a mystery caper, I gotta get it down on paper.
    I gotta get all the words just right if I only knew what to write.
    I’d knock my book sales out of site.

    I got me no book to Sell, I’m frustrated as all Hell,
    I’m told my words Smell, I’ll just keep writing. Oh Well!
    No matter what I do Beta-readers say I’m a fool,
    Editors say my writings Poo, and my book covers suck too.

    My submission keeps getting rejected, I am getting more dejected.
    I really have to stop and think, even Vanity Presses say my book stinks.
    I tried to self-publish my book, I think I really mucked it up.
    My formats all messed up! I need a description with a hook!

    Now if I could only sell some books, I’d be off the credit card hooks.
    Please, at my book, take a look, I got it right it’s not a fluke!
    I promise you will not puke.

    Now I sit back and just laugh!
    LoL! LoL! – LoL! LoL! – LoL! LoL!

    all rights reserved 2019

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