Finding Your Niche: Freaky Friday with Michelle Roth

Strict Black Leather Locking Hand Cuffs on white background

Well, hey! Would you lookee there! I’m back for another Freaky Friday with Michelle Roth. This week I’ll be kind of piggy-backing on what Raven talked about yesterday. In she talked about a recent rejection and how that stung.

Believe me. They do. No matter how many books you’ve got under your belt. No matter how many times you’ve gotten the “Thanks but no thanks”… it still burns.

I’m naturally a self-centered person, so I thought … HOW CAN I MAKE THIS ABOUT ME?

No actually, it got to thinking about my own rejections. One of them stuck out to me, and that’s the one that I’ll be talking about. This particular rejection is the most awkward of them all. It’s the AVOIDABLE one.

This rejection was kind and gentle in a way that it didn’t particularly have to be. It basically told me that the story that I wrote wasn’t the type of story this particular publisher was looking to tell. It was well-written, and would probably find a good home somewhere else, but… not with them.

The book wasn’t anything like ANYTHING they publish on a mass-scale. I gave absolutely NO thought to the type of books they published, the length, the particular tropes, etc.

Admittedly, it was my first time subbing a book anywhere, so I didn’t have a whole lot of experience to go on. But essentially I wasted my time AND their time by not thinking about my intended audience.

So, my advice? Once you’ve written and edited your book copiously in the manner you see fit, take a look at the publishers that are accepting open submissions. Find one (or more) that fit you.

If you’ve written a book where your main character is a high powered lawyer from Chicago who gets handcuffed and spanked on page 16 by his Domme girlfriend, then you should be targeting places that sell those type of books well. Perhaps Harlequin Historical is not the place for you. 😉

I know that was a rudimentary example. You’d surely use a bit more care than that, but you get my point, yeah?

If you’re writing BDSM, look for publishers that embrace that. Shifters and vamps? No sense trying to get a company that does strictly contemporary to publish that. They probably won’t.

Most publishers will tell you exactly what they want, what they don’t want, and what you should be sending them on their submissions page. Do yourself a favor (unlike me when I first subbed) and read that!

Till next time!




This entry was posted in Freaky Friday, General Information, Michelle Roth, Writing Advice and tagged , , , by Michelle Roth. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michelle Roth

Michelle Roth is a novelist from the Great White North (Toronto, ON). When she’s not disappearing into foreign lands, or making two perfect strangers that she invented fall in love, she’s probably curled up somewhere with a glass of wine and a good book. In her spare time she is typically hanging out with her awesome boyfriend and their two equally awesome cats. She likes taking road trips to nowhere in particular, cooking elaborate meals then making other people do the dishes, and being nerdy on the internet. Her books are currently available on

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