Monday, December 15, 2014

The Most Dedicated Writer in the World

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I was almost in tears when I finished reading Jacqueline Drugas' personal story. In case you are an author and haven't read the monthly KDP newsletter in full length, missing her story - or if you are not into writing, but want to achieve other goals in life, here is a great role model:


Jacqueline Druga, author of Last Woman, shares her experience with Kindle Direct Publishing: 

"It's hard to believe that a mere five years ago, I was standing in line at the food bank hoping to score a free can of baby formula and making the decision on what utility I could do without for the month. All that changed, thanks to KDP.
I always wanted to be a writer and tell stories. But books weren't a part of my life; the closest thing I saw to 'reading' in my family was when my grandmother browsed the tabloids over her morning coffee. At the age of 10, my mother gave me her old typewriter. Fueled by my imagination and obsession over Charlton Heston, I wrote stories and never stopped.
"It started with short stories and progressed to disaster-based romance novels. My first rejection letter came at the age of 17.
"Devastated, I stopped submitting. I kept writing though. Focusing on shorter works, I put the full-length books aside. Publishing was a pipe dream I wasn't qualified to pursue. Then in 1997, all that changed. I started writing novels again, and with a renewed vigor, decided I wanted to be a published author. I slept very little and wrote seven days a week, every night.
And believing getting published would be easy, I set an outlandish goal that I would quit writing if I reached enough rejection letters to place one on each step of the Empire State Building. It took 404 rejections to get my first 'yes' with a small house that went under two years later. That was it. 

1,172 Publisher Rejections 
By 2006, I had accumulated enough rejections to plaster the stairs of the Empire State Building: 1,172 rejections to be exact. (Yes, I have them all.) So I stopped trying to get published. I was convinced that no one wanted to read my work. I wrote primarily apocalyptic fiction. I ended the world any way I could. It was a genre that was deemed 'unmarketable.' 
Writing stayed my passion, relentlessly writing book after book, screenplays, and poems. In 10 years, I had written over 100 full-length novels. I was happy writing and accepted the fact that no one would really know my name or my stories.
Following a divorce that left me to raise two teenage daughters alone (one of whom was pregnant), I had to work two jobs and bury the writing dream. In 2010, a writer friend suggested I give KDP a try, maybe make a couple bucks. I laughed at that. No one wanted to read about the apocalypse. 'Give it a try,' he said. So I did. 
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My first royalty check was for $11. I danced a jig. It was the most money I had ever received for my writing. Little by little the checks increased, and more than that, people were reading my work. I dropped the second job. By 2012, I only worked part-time, and by 2013, I was able to quit working outside the home and do what I love best: be with my family and write full-time. 
I am the sole supporter of my family. Gone are the days of not having enough to eat or any electricity. For that I am beyond grateful. I take advantage of everything Amazon has to offer. Without KDP, my dream of being a published writer would have washed away. All I ever wanted was for someone to give me a chance and I'd run with it. KDP gave me that chance, and I am sprinting at a good pace on their publishing track."
--Jacqueline Druga
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For those authors with one single book under the belt, who complain that they are not in the NY Bestseller List, or that the income from their first book doesn't allow to quit the day job: Learn what the word dedication and love for writing meant for this author.  Take her as a role model and write a hundred books like her... and then see what happens!


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