09/21/2010 11:17 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Why Authors Must Ignore the "No"

In previous blog posts I have written about strategies for anything from writer's block to expert query letters. Authors can struggle with many industry related learning curves, what about the art of persistence? Elaine Wilkes recently shared her insights on how to get your book into bookstores based on her own experiences.

How many times have you stopped yourself or ended a project because you were given a "no?" Do you question "no?"

This reminds me of the Candid Camera TV show in which they put up a sign at the Ohio border stating, "State closed today." Frustrated drivers exclaimed, "When will it open again?" as they u-turned their cars away from the "closed state" -- not thinking to question the sign or their own closed state of mind.

I got a book deal and my books in stores, even though I was told no. It was partly because I learned to question "no's" at age eleven on a family vacation...

As I gazed through the back seat car window at this incredible hotel, my mom exclaimed, "The newspaper reported no one can get in that hotel. They're booked solid with a two-year waiting list."

My dad pulled over and said, "Wait here." He soon appeared waving a hotel key and drove to our no-reservation-with-a-two-year-waiting-list-room. As we walked up to "Shangri La," my dad turned to me and said, "Remember... there's always room in the inn." My young mind soaked up that "yes" is always possible.

FYI. My dad didn't throw money at the hotel to get the room. He asked if the President of the United States arrived, would they have a room for him? When he got, "of course" he quickly replied, "Great. I'll take his room and if he arrives he can stay with me." He then asked if there were any cancellations, and viola -- the "no" had turned into a "yes."

It's the same story when getting your book published, or getting your books in stores. There will be naysayers telling you why you can't ____ (fill in the blank), because ___ (fill in the blank). Remember, they're not always right.

In my book I examine how nature deals with adversity and goes with the flow instead of the no. For example, a fish that was being smashed into a rocky cliff by huge, pounding waves adapted by growing its own suction cup so it could cling safely onto the rock when the waves hit.

In another example, farmers were puzzled that the insecticides that worked perfectly one year, but were worthless the next year. The insects figured out not only how to survive, but also how to thrive, enabling them to come back even stronger. Nature doesn't take no for an answer.

Can you question the "no" and like nature find creative ways to deal with adversity? Can a "no" simply be used as a way to discover your untapped potential? What if a "no" can lead to knowing yourself?

If you want to hear more of Elaine's perspective as well as learn countless book marketing strategies from industry experts, join us for the 21st Century Book Marketing Event on September 25th and 26th. Seats are limited, so register today!

Elaine Wilkes, Ph.D., N.C., M.A., LEED, is a professional speaker and "learning addict." Her highly acclaimed Hay House book, Nature's Secret Messages: Hidden in Plain Sight that was awarded a rare star recommendation from the prestigious Publishers Weekly. See

Arielle Ford has launched the careers of many NY Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Neale Donald Walsch & Debbie Ford. She is a former book publicist, literary agent and the author of seven books. To learn how to get started writing a book please visit: