1st June 2014 Guest Post – From Frustration to Publication! by Julie Shackman


Christmas 2013 was approaching fast.

Tinsel and lights were everywhere but my festive cheer had taken another blow.

I had just received yet another rejection for my debut contemporary romance novel “Rock My

World”. I had received positive comments but ultimately, it was another “Not for us thanks.”

I’d been firing it out to agents and publishers for months and although I had received some great

feedback, there was no offer of representation or publication.

I remember trailing round the local supermarket the next morning, trying not to frighten small

children with my glum expression. The faint strains of “Ding Dong Merrily On High” were crackling

through the PA system yet I wasn’t feeling that merry.

As I bought my newspaper, I spotted the glossy cover of a writing magazine on the next shelf. I

dropped it into my trolley and decided to have a read of it when I got home.

As I leafed through it later, I came across an article about the London digital publishers Not So Noble

Books (NSNB) who were considering new writers, particularly in the romance, crime and thriller

I heaved a sigh. Should I submit to them? Well, what did I have to lose?

I tweaked my submission and followed the guidelines of a synopsis and the first three chapters. I

duly e-mailed it all off and promptly pushed it to the back of my mind.

Several days later, a response popped up from NSNB, saying they had read my first three chapters,

enjoyed it and would like to read the full MS.

I was pleased but tried to temper my enthusiasm. I had been in this situation before and the last

thing I wanted to do, was tempt fate.

I immediately e-mailed my full MS back to NSNB and tried to forget about it – again.

I filled the intervening time with more reading, writing and trying to prepare for the festive season.

It was now the beginning of December 2013 and the thoughts of Christmas shopping were pre-

occupying me – probably a good thing.

About three weeks had elapsed now since NSNB had asked for my full MS. It was a Tuesday

afternoon and I was busy dealing with the kids and the post- apocalyptic chaos that accompanies my

two sons on arriving home from school.

I had managed to haul myself away from the PC for a while and ambled back into the room.

I noticed there was a new e-mail in my in-box and as I drew closer, read that it was from NSNB. I

clicked on it, expecting to read the normal, polite refusal.  Instead, I read the words “…..would like

to offer you a publishing contract” and I remember hyperventilating. Then I gabbled a lot of

nonsense at my eldest son and asked him to read the e-mail to ensure I hadn’t just imagined it!

I spent the following half an hour re-reading the e-mail over every ten seconds.

Fast forward another 24 hours or so and NSNB had sent me my contract, which I signed with a

massive and relieved grin on my face.

I know it’s easy to look back and be wise after the event but I’m so glad I didn’t give up. There were

numerous occasions when I felt like doing just that. But reading other writers success stories is such

a boost.

I read once that “Published authors are unpublished authors who never gave up” and this helped me

to keep going.

I hope you keep writing too – and Good Luck!

Julie Shackman

Twitter Handle G13Julie

Author Bio
Julie Shackman trained as a journalist but writing romance has always been her dream. When she doesn’t have her head in a book or isn’t busy drafting one, she writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Writing at home seems to be incredibly difficult for her – she usually requires coffee, music and noise.
“Rock My World”  is my her first contemporary romance novel . She has just finished writing her second novel and is in the process of polishing that at the moment whilst beginning to do some research for her third. These are also contemporary romances with a good dose of humour (hopefully!). She is married, has two sons and lives in Scotland.

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