74 by Bethany Turner


That was the number of rejections I received from major literary agents prior to making the decision to self-publish the Abigail Phelps series. I was a mess — not due to the rejections, but in how I approached the whole querying process to begin with. I had no idea what I was doing, and each little bit of encouragement actually got me further off-track. What was so frustrating was the fact that quite a few agents actually loved my story. They praised my writing, admitted that I had come up with an entirely new idea, and fell in love with my characters. And then:

“We regret to inform you…”

They told me I was ahead of my time. If I had a dime for each time I’ve been told that, I could afford to build a time machine and jump ahead to a point in the future when I would be considered a little more on schedule! Agents claimed on their websites that they were looking for completely new and ambitious concepts, and then I received rejections from them in which they said my concept was not safe enough for them.

The worst part was that I began to believe them. I wandered around, trying to land on the magic formula. Maybe if I kept the story lighter… Maybe if I removed a layer… Maybe if I took away all possibilities of getting sued by the Kennedys…

But that’s not who I am. I wrote the story I believed in, and though it isn’t perfect, I know it is good. And they knew it was good! It’s not for everyone, and there are people who will never understand it, but guess what, folks? That’s what we all love about literature! We escape — sometimes we love it, sometimes we hate it — and we dream. And we are fortunate enough to live in a time which allows us to publish our dreams ourselves. We write and we publicize and we cry and we work and we scream and we want to give up, but we are published authors, and we deserve to be here.

We aren’t ahead of our time. This is our time.

Anyone who doesn’t see that is getting left behind.


Author PhotoFind Bethany Online!!

Twitter: @BTLiteraryStuff

Facebook: www.facebook.com/seebethanywrite; www.facebook.com/abigailphelpsseries

Website: www.seebethanywrite.com; www.abbyphelps.com

Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/seebethanywrite

Book Info:

I've_Loved_These_Day_Cover_for_Kindle (2)I’ve Loved These Days

Amazon – www.amazon.com/dp/B00LSWE6U4

Scenes_From_Highland_Cover_for_Kindle (2)







Scenes From Highland Falls

Amazon www.amazon.com/dp/B00LSX6HD2

Two_Thousand_Years_Cover_for_Kindle (2)Two Thousand Years

Amazon www.amazon.com/dp/B00LSYL5UQ



  1. Bethany, I’m glad you didn’t let the rejections dissuade you! What I love most about self-publishing is that we get to read such a wide variety of stories. Loren, thanks so much for hosting.

  2. Congratulations on being Spotlight author, Bethany. I hope you have a lovely week. I’m with Michelle: I’m so glad you didn’t give up! 🙂

    Loren, thanks so much for hosting Bethany today 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Harmony. The temptation of giving up is so temporary, but being a published author…that’s a sense of satisfaction which lasts forever! 🙂

  3. As difficult as rejections are, they can be great motivators to make things better. You’re amazing to stick to querying as long as you did. It’s so frustrating to see some books publishing houses DO publish, when we all know there are many, many self-published books that are so much better.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Rebecca! Sometimes I just don’t understand the thinking in some of those choices! 🙂 Ultimately, I wouldn’t have had it work out any way other than how it did!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. Bethany,

    Thank you for sharing Your experience. It reminds us how important it it to keep true to ourselves and I admire people who do that even though it’s hard since one needs to know who they are to be able to stick to it, right? And not many people do!! 😀 You clearly do and that’s another reason I admire you! You go, girl!!

    Thanks for hosting this awesome kick-off to Bethany’s Spotlight Author Tour, Loren! Your support is much appreciated 🙂

  5. Bethany I was afraid to even go the route you have taken. After spending so much time writing the book, I felt like I needed to sit back and rest and relax…not run around trying to find agents or publishers. You have to have a thick skin in this game and learn to navigate around it. I think this is why we all became Indie Authors. Congratulations, you are in the spotlight and you didn’t need those big publishing houses did you? Enjoy you tour.

    1. I know indie is for some, while traditional is truly right for others. And I’d even say what might be right for one book may not be right for something else an author creates. But all I know for sure is I’m delighted with the path I’m on in this particular journey! Wouldn’t trade it for anything!

      Thanks so much for your support, Shirley!

  6. Who wants to be ‘safe’ when it comes to new literature anyway?! There’s nothing more boring than trumped up ‘trending’ books by me too, so-called ‘celebs’ who’re barely out of their early teens and/or can barely string 2 words together that aren’t put in their mouths by their PR entourage… or a ‘superstar’ author who had an original thought 20 years ago but has only updated it’s wardrobe ever since.
    Indie authors rule so keep it up Bethany 😉

    Thanks for having us over Loren 🙂

  7. Congratulations, Bethany. You so deserve this spotlight. Hope you had a great week! Great post! I’ve been trying to congratulate you on the RRBC website, but it won’t let me post anything at all. Just wanted you to know I’m not snubbing you. LOL Loren, I love you website and your books. Thanks for hosting.

  8. Congratulations Bethany. I went the same route with the same pain. I finally found a publisher who accepted unagented work and got published. You ae definitely where you belong. Nice job. Thanks to Loren for hosting

    1. Thanks, John! Yep…I’m a believer in things happening for a reason – even if that reason isn’t obvious at the time…

      Thanks for your support and for stopping by, John!

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