On Being A Published Author

by | Sep 26, 2023 | Astrology & Magic Making, Love and Relationships, Writing | 4 comments

Before I became a published author, with Llewellyn Press, I was rejected – many times. If you don’t know how difficult it is to be published by a mainstream press, please allow me to illuminate you:

You probably think writing the book is the hard part. Nope. Writing the book proposal is much harder. A 75+ page document that required me to “sound byte” all the best parts of my work, and take a bird’s eye view to communicate the story of the work, I had to put down my creator, and editor, hats. Now, I had to imagine myself as a book acquisitions editor, coming across hundreds or thousands of proposals. I needed to stand out. It was a different mindset.

The proposal I wrote for A Love Alchemist’s Notebook could’ve been a work in and of itself. It was labor intensive. It was then that I finally understood what I hadn’t until now: the Author does everything for her work. Everything.

I wrote the back cover copy. I wrote the bio. I created the title, and sub-title. I structured the book into sections and sub-sections that made sense. I created the table of contents. I had it professionally edited. I concepted a cover for it. I created an “elevator pitch” for my work. I identified all the books similar to it, why people would want to read it, the market segments, and marketing strategies. I made promises about what I would do to fulfill my commitment to the publisher: sell copies of books, give talks and classes, interviews… and in my spare time, continue to write.

Spare time! Ha!

Then, I had the proposal edited. I got blurbs and endorsements from as many people as I could. Yes, it *sparkled*, as bright as the book itself. It had to. And, for me, writing that proposal was also a huge pain in the you know what.

(What did my publisher do? They gave me a small advance, and edited it, again. They decided on a new cover concept design, created from clip art and photoshop. They reached out to press, trade journals and even scheduled a few great articles and bookstore events for me. And they printed and distributed the book to booksellers – of course.)

But back to me. Once accepted as their author: I attended classes. I networked with other authors. I joined a writers’ book club to learn tips. I hired a PR person. I employed people on Fiverr to help me reach out to bloggers who would be interested in my book. I reached out to any and all contacts I had, and made new ones. I even collaborated with a baker in Canada who was trying to launch a cupcake business; I think I “love-spelled” her cupcakes?! I had one of my book launches at a local coffee roaster, where I magically “spelled” the coffee beans under the light of a full moon.

I did a lot of crazy and creative things. I was hustling. I was a “real author”!

I also kept writing.

But times were changing. The art of selling books was changing. Thanks to Amazon, booksellers were closing their shops, and so it was getting harder for publishers to sell books. I am certain my book sales numbers disappointed my publisher. They had high hopes for this book. Then, the self-publishing trend began. You can probably see why it happened. Honestly, authors had to do so much for their books anyhow; I already knew how to do almost everything they did, and what I didn’t know how to do I could outsource. Eventually, I recognized that selling on Amazon, I could quickly recover the small advance my publisher gave me, and more. This became the *new reality*, the one we have now. I just happened to get my book deal right at the cusp of this changeover which was a weird timing thing for me.

I was and still am incredibly grateful (and quite honestly still thrilled) to have been accepted by a publisher. Twice. You may see why: IT’S SO HARD!!! For this reason, it’s an honor and privilege. I wanted to do my best, to be worthy of that.

Before I became an author with Llewellyn Press, I was rejected – many times. Recently, I was reminded of a rejection from a publisher. The letter read: WE DON’T PUBLISH BOOKS THAT TELL WOMEN HOW TO ATTRACT A MAN.

For the first time since joyously, lovingly, creating this book, I questioned myself, wondering: Have I done something wrong? The energy of judgment behind those words caused me to feel badly.

Luckily, I found the right publisher, who heard my story about learning to love myself, letting go of old beliefs, and using metaphysical and spiritual techniques to open to soulful love. Yes, I am a woman who happened to want to attract a man. I also wanted to be loved, and attract love, in the exact way I wanted.

Why share this now? I think we are alive during a time when it’s too easy to jump to conclusions about others. When I share my perspective it is one born of hard-won victories, the details of which are intensely personal and only I can ever know. Being inclusive is not my goal; sharing myself, my own story, authentically, is. Hopefully, authentic and honest sharing generates inclusivity – inspiring others to share their own experiences, which will be different from mine.

Nowadays, opinions come quite quickly, and often with judgment. In an attempt to be all-inclusive, and not offend anyone, it can be easy to lose yourself and your own message. A Libra Rising, I’m familiar with that.

Years ago, I experienced a progressed Leo New Moon in my tenth house of profession and honors; that was the year (2010) my life began as a published author. Now, fourteen years later, I am experiencing a progressed Aquarius-Leo Full Moon, this time in my fifth (creativity, personal joy) and eleventh houses (community, future dreams). A Love Alchemist’s Notebook has since been taken out of circulation. I intend to bring it back. Attract-a-man spells, and all!!!

Other ideas will include: Having a soul mate in life, experiencing the feeling that another person completes you, and appealing to those who want to attract a man -with magic. I know it won’t resonate with some.

That’s fine with me. The process of sharing your Voice requires you to find your backbone and be willing to stand alone, if necessary. For me, life is not about achieving consensus but personal alignment and inner integrity.

As the saying goes, “stand for something or you’ll fall for anything… “ so here I stand.

Happy Aries-Libra Full Moon, All! This is a personal axis for me. May you: locate the courage and strength to BE YOURSELF, share your Voice, and experience your own victorious act of courageous self-hood.




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  1. Laura Grolla

    Jessica, I have not read my email or your blog in a long time. I have been on a difficult journey of finding a place to live that has taken me across four state lines and in and out of many people’s homes and hearts. I am still not to “home” and with a fourth house full moon in Pisces where Saturn is creating structure and shadow work for me, I don’t expect it will be any time soon. But the journey, like the birth of your book, is well worth the changes asked of me. I have found “personal alignment and inner integrity” on the way and I appreciate reading your words today. Thank you. Your book about the fourth house was a wonderful part of that journey. I look forward to your magical spell book. I know it will be like you: warm and wise and touched by the Goddess.

  2. Jessica

    What a wonderful thing for me to read, Laura. I myself am traveling at the moment and trying to settle into a temporary new home – so funny and synchronous timing here for both of us! Best wishes. May YOUR moonlit path be warmly illuminated and have plenty of soft places for rest. xx

  3. Leah Whitehorse

    What a stinging rejection slip comment! I remember one of my first rejection slips, way back in the 80’s. It was for a poem I sent to some magazine. I was a teenager at the time. My poem was returned with a slip that said, “Good, but not good enough.” You can imagine how my Venus conjunct MC conjunct Saturn felt about that! Good luck with reviving your book and yes, sometimes we’ve just got to stand up for what we believe in. I’m thankful that my natal Mercury in Aries in the 9th house told my crestfallen teenage self, ‘screw that, you can DO this!’ And I did 🙂

  4. Jessica

    Leah! Ughhhh…the old “not good enough” and at such a tender age. I’m sorry. That one would rattle around in my brain for a long time, too. It’s odd how the brain really holds onto the negative comments because even as we now know we are hardwired for negativity -as a survival strategy- when we’re young it just feels/seems unfair. We both have some spirited Aries in us! My Moon has picked herself up, dusted herself off, more times! xx

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