Sunday 14 January 2024

3 Tips for Aspiring Authors by Young Adult Paranormal Author Leigh Goff...

Be Ready for Rejection

Even if someone had told me about this, I’m not sure I would have believed just how much rejection there would be. I even used Query Tracker to hone my agent and publisher searches, making sure my manuscript fit what each agent or publisher was looking for and that I followed their query rules. I can look back now and smile at how many rejection letters I received for my first novel, only because there were a few kind agents in the bunch who took the time to offer brief critiques on what I had submitted. 

I would send out 15-20 queries at a time, then I’d wait to hear back from the literary agents or small press publishers. I didn’t always get a response, but when I did, it was ultimately a rejection (cue sad music). With some of those rejections came little nuggets of advice. Trust me, those nuggets aren’t meant to be mean, they were bits of gold meant to improve my writing. I took that gold and made revisions. And I made revisions. And I made revisions. This book was my first attempt at writing a novel and I had a lot to learn. The rejections were disappointing and hurt at first, but the advice was necessary, appreciated, and it did make the book better. So I’d say be ready for rejection and be open to any advice a writing professional offers you. 

Be Prepared--the Publishing Process Moves Slowly

Once I received a publishing offer for my first book (woohoo!), I was slated for edits. There were three rounds of edits that had to fit the various editors’ schedules. Completing a round of edits does take time. Fortunately, I am good with deadlines, even when I had to take a chapter and rewrite it completely. Once that was done, the book went to their graphic designer for cover art, and it was typeset (set up for printing). The book was then scheduled for a release date that worked for the publisher and their other book releases. Plus they had to plan social media events leading up to and for the week of the release.  

My favorite part of this slow-moving process is the cover art. There’s nothing like getting to see what your “baby” is going to look like on a bookshelf! 

Don’t Give Up on Your Dreams

Dreams do come true, but they may not happen the way you expected or on your perfect schedule. 

After my first book was published, three months later the publisher went out of business. I was blessed to find another publisher that was excited to take on my novel along with my second book. My third book was discovered during a Twitter pitch party. That was a nice surprise. However, after the book was published the pandemic happened. That publisher suffered financial losses and went under. The company’s name was purchased by someone who had their own catalog of books, so that allowed me to take ownership of the third book. Finally, after years of hoping, I signed with a literary agent for my fourth book. I worked with her on the edits for that manuscript and it is currently out on submission to editors and publishers. 

When that book went on submission, I finished my fifth book which is a YA thriller set in coastal South Carolina. There are three sisters, an exotic garden, and Big Pharma causing lots of deadly trouble. I just love it. Fingers crossed that my agent finds the best homes for both of these books. My sixth book idea is being outlined at present. It will be a YA thriller set in D.C. and it’s going to be super fun to write! 

Leigh Goff
is an author of three published young adult novels and is represented by Lauren Bittrich. She is working on her next novel, a young adult thriller, while her current manuscript, Wicked Sweet, is on submission.

You can find her current published novels at Audible | Amazon | Apple   

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkTree


  1. Welcome to my virtual writing lair, Leigh! Great tips, and hope they're able to magically help a few aspiring authors out there! Cheers and all the best, my witchy friend!

  2. Thanks for hosting me today! Always happy to visit with you on your fantastic blog!

    1. You're welcome, Leigh! Hugs for bringing the virtual witches brew to celebrate the new year with you. Wink. Cheers and all the best!

  3. Great post, ladies! Thank you for sharing :)

    1. Thanks, Marina! Hugs for stopping by my virtual abode for a visit. Wink.