Hitting It Out Of The Park?

October 5, 2009 | Karin's Blog | 16 comments

Think again, ladies and gents.  In today’s market you have to hit into the next county!  I’m talking about a kick-ass-grab-an-editor-by-the-throat-and-smothering-them-with-awesomeness story.  Daunting isn’t it?  It is.  Big time, and here’s how I know:  I have a multi-published, award winning friend who is an awesomely talented writer.  I hate her most days ’cause she is so good and I know, no matter how hard I try, I will never ever be able to combine words in a sentence like she does.  Yeah, yeah, nobody writes like Karin Tabke either (and maybe that’s a good thing?) but I’m here to say, my friend is not only an awesome wordsmith but she can tell a story.  Oh, boy can she. 


So she writes this incredible proposal. No, not just incredible. Infuckingcredible!  It goes out.  Editors are wetting their pants with anticipation.  Slowly, one by one the rejections trickle in.  WTF?!


But wait!  There are two big houses that are sending the project up the acquisitions chain.  And wait, another one rethinks and decides she loves it after all and retracts her rejection. Time passes.  This infuckingcredible proposal makes it as far as a project can make it and then?  No thanks.  And a no thanks because of stuff that could have been easily revised.  Or perhaps it was some other factor other than the story itself. Maybe their list is too full, maybe the agent scared them off or maybe they knew they couldn’t get it for a song.  I don’t know, I wasn’t a fly on the wall, but I’m still shaking my head over this one. 


It only makes me realize, that in this market, you have to be better than good: You have to be infuckingcredible, and even then there may be unknown factors involved, and alas, a great project still gets passed on.  I’m not worried about my friend, she has lots of books contracted and her schedule is full, but this particular project was her baby.  That story needs to be told, people! 


Having gone through this entire process with my friend, it has made me realize, we are all very much dispensable.  I’ve known that. I am, first and foremost a business woman.  I get it, numbers rule.  Period.  End of story.  But the game is different now.  You have to bring your A game even before you show up.  And when the crowd boos you, you have to look them in the eye, tip your hat and take the swings, because if you don’t? Now, you have truly failed. 


You can fail by striking out or you can fail by not showing up.  Failure can be both a verb and a noun.  I’ll take the verb form.  Because if I didn’t, I’d be the noun version.  And I am not a failure.


So, as you’re writing, keep thinking, infuckingcredible.  Take chances, be brave and even if you go down swinging know you were in the game.  Then?  Dust yourself off and try, try again.


Karin* who has a proposal of her own out there.  She’s keeping everything crossed she hit it into the next county.  Time will tell, in the meantime, she’s working hard on making her current wip the best book she has ever written.


What are you dong to ensure the book you’re writing is infuckingcredible?


  1. Edie

    Karin, I’ve been wondering what’s happening with your proposal. I’m waiting to hear good news about it. And I’ll keep thinking “infuckingincredible” about my own books. This is a really timely blog.

  2. Theresa

    Hey Karin,

    Keeping my fingers cross for your proposal!

    Lately, every time I read back over what I wrote the day before I think infuckingcredible– only its not in a good way.

    Thank God for revisions. lol

  3. Karin

    Edie, it’s out in New York making the rounds! I hope to hear good news soon, very very soon! Keep thinking infuckingcredible and your story will be INFUCKINGCREDIBLE. I really like the sound of that. 😉

    Theresa, you’re so funny. I bet your story in more infuckingcredible than you think, and in a GOOD way!
    Thanks for crossing all the digits for me. I need it, this market is unfucking believable! 😉

  4. HollyD

    Wow! I don’t get it. Especially when you read a book & wonder how it got published and so many awesome ones didn’t.

    All my fingers & toes are crossed for your proposal, Karin! Can’t wait to hear the good news.

    I have to write ALOT more books to get anywhere near Infuckingcredible, in a good way.

    For weeks I had been writing like crazy (for me). Then, Tuesday hit and kids started getting sick. Not all at once, over the next few days kids started gtetting fevers until now all 5 kids, the hubby, and I are all feeling blah.

    Today was the first time I was able to write anything, and it sure as hell isn’t Infuckingcredible.

  5. Theresa


    Believe me, not so. I’m in slamitdown mode. I don’t even try to make it infuckingcredible until revisions.

    But the only way I can get through first draft is to slam it down as fast as possible. No thinking. No playing with words. If I stop to tinker, the Book might never have an ending. 😆

  6. J. Carson Black

    Karin, I’m sending you good thoughts. I hope like hell you hit this one out of the park. I know you’ve done your homework, I know you’re ready for the big leagues. But when the ball leaves the bat, all that’s left is good thoughts, and a reliance on physics.

    Funny you should use the baseball analogy, because I’ve been thinking the same thing about my book. There is no room for error. With a book as big as mine, it either makes it to the right place or it doesn’t. This is not a book I can sell to even a wonderful publishing house like Bleak House.

    What I woke up thinking about was this: this book has to land solidly in the right glove with a loud snap. No leeway, as you said. It’s a fast ball and it has to land in the right glove, and that’s it. For me, that glove is the right agent. At this time in my career, it’s important to get the right agent who can get this book before the right people. I figure there are eight, maybe ten agents–after that, my chances take a major nosedive. I won’t even get on the field with all ten. I’ll be lucky if I get to three or four of the Top Ten.

    Karin, it’s high stakes but you’ve got the toughness to see it through. There will be other hits–you’re good at that. A lot more times at bat. But I’m hoping you knock this baby out of the park. The stakes are high, but you’re known for stepping up and bringing your A Game.

  7. Terry Odell

    All you can do is keep taking your turn at bat. And, of course, you’ve got to go to ‘batting practice’ and keep yourself in good shape. That means writing, and doing everything you can to keep honing your skills.

    I’ve struck out with one agent, but that won’t stop me from writing.

  8. Rebecca J. Clark

    Okay, thanks for totally depressing me. 🙂 This IS a tough market. All we can do is keep on keeping on.

    I have to say it is so frustrating to read some of the published stuff, then read my unpubbed CP’s work or that of other fellow writers who just can’t seem to get their lucky break. There is so much awesome UNpublished work out there. I have to hope that someday it’ll find the home it deserves.

    Good luck with your submission, Karin.

  9. J. Carson Black

    Rebecca, keep at it! And tell your friends to keep at it, too.

    Publishers are actively looking for new authors–there’s marketing strength in the words, “debut author.”

  10. Jill James

    My writing has stepped up a notch since I decided to not hide behind my emotions, to put them on the page. Is it infuckingcredible? Some days I think so, but time will tell.

  11. Karin Tabke

    Holly, none of us get it! It’s a crazy world publishing. What appeals to you and I turns the next reader off and voce versa. I think that is why it’s so very important to stay true to your voice. And to hang in there and keep writing as you are doing. I bet your stories are more infuckingcredible than you give yourself credit for.

    Theresa, it’s all about the end game being infuckingcredible. you should see my puked up rough drafts. ugly. but even in those hashed out pages there is some really amazing stuff.

  12. Karin Tabke

    Thanks, Jake! I need all the good thoughts I can get! And Jake you are so right about the right agent for certain projects. They have to know the nuances of the biz, especially in these trying times. A savvy agent who knows their stuff is priceless. And I know your going to land in the right hands. Can’t wait to hear about your deal when you sell!

    Terry taking our turn at bat means staying in the game. Sadly so many have taken their glove and bat and gone home. And, find a new agent!

    Thanks, Edie!

  13. Karin Tabke

    Rebecca, I didn’t write this post to depress but to inspire. Too many writers out there aren’t doing the really hard blood sweat and tears work. How do I know this? I just judged a hand full of entries for two different contests and they are by far some of the most uninspiring stores I’ve ever read. I see so many writers out there who are so frustrated by their failure to sell. So many don’t look in the mirror and take the blame they blame other factors. the market (which is a very legit one) the editor the agent or the publisher.

    I know some of the published stuff out there is bad. But someone had to love it enough to buy it. different strokes. but don’t let that discourage you. write. write more and write better. with each story you improve. and keep at it. you will sell. and what Jake said is so true. ‘debut author’ holds a lot of excitement and promise to not only publishers but readers as well.
    and, thank your for the good wishes re my submission. 🙂

    Jill, no hiding allowed!

  14. Debbie H

    I’m a reader, not a writer. But I just wanted to say good luck to you Karin. I absolutely adore your work, I buy everything you write and also copies for my girlfriends.

  15. Liz Kreger

    Its a scary business, ain’t it? I agree … I see a number of mediocre books out there and wonder how the hell they got published, yet there are books written by people I know which if fabulous, but they can’t get their toe in the door.

    I think luck and a damned well written book plays a lot in this business. Good luck with your proposal.

  16. Karin

    Debbie, thank you so much for your kind words! You just invigorated my sorry ass to write today!

    Liz, scary yes, in an odd sort of mental-send-you-the-funny-farm sort of way. Thanks for the well wishes.

    How are you feeling????


  1. Edie Ramer - Author - [...] to sell every year. I’ve recently read two blogs that talk about how tough the business is, one by…

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