New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes in almost every genre. Generally, she uses her real name (Rusch) for most of her writing. Under that name, she publishes bestselling science fiction and fantasy, award-winning mysteries, acclaimed mainstream fiction, controversial nonfiction, and the occasional romance. Her novels have made bestseller lists around the world and her short fiction has appeared in eighteen best of the year collections. She has won more than twenty-five awards for her fiction, including the Hugo, Le Prix Imaginales, the Asimov's Readers Choice award, and the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Choice Award.

Publications from The Chicago Tribune to Booklist have included her Kris Nelscott mystery novels in their top-ten-best mystery novels of the year. The Nelscott books have received nominations for almost every award in the mystery field, including the best novel Edgar Award, and the Shamus Award.

She also edits. Beginning with work at the innovative publishing company, Pulphouse, followed by her award-winning tenure at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, she took fifteen years off before returning to editing with the original anthology series Fiction River, published by WMG Publishing. She acts as series editor with her husband, writer Dean Wesley Smith, and edits at least two anthologies in the series per year on her own.

To keep up with everything she does, go to and sign up for her newsletter. To track her many pen names and series, see their individual websites (,,,, Her latest release, Escaping Amnthra is available now.

Turning Setbacks into Opportunity by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Setbacks happen to everyone. Surviving them is hard. Surviving failure is even harder. But every successful person survives at least three failures before finding that success. So how do you turn failure to success?

The answers lie in this book-length excerpt from the massive Freelancer's Survival Guide by international bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, who will show you how to turn those inevitable setbacks into opportunity.



  • "[Kristine Kathryn Rusch's blog,] The Business Rusch…is full of sound advice and analysis about what's going on."

    – Jeff Baker, The Oregonian
  • "Kristine Kathryn Rusch's new book Discoverability is by far the best resource I have read to date to help indie authors succeed after the book is written."

    – Chris Syme, Principal of CKSyme Media Group




We all fail. Sometimes we fail spectacularly. The key isn't preventing failure. The key is picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off, and moving forward.

Easier said than done, of course. Most of us want to do everything we can to prevent failure.

This short book is three chapters of a huge how-to book called The Freelancer's Survival Guide, which was initially published on my blog, The entire Guide is available as both an e- and a paperback book. But this piece will work better if you remember it was initially published as weekly blog posts and written in real time in 2009 and 2010.

Turning Setbacks into Opportunity is part of the Freelancer's Guide Short Book series. I carved some of the entries in the Guide into short books because not everyone wants all of the advice in the larger Guide. Sometimes people buy how-to books for one small section. If you're one of those people, then this short book is for you. I hope it answers all of your questions about surviving setbacks, recovering from failure, and using hindsight to solve future problems.

If you want to see how others responded or if you want to see the original posts, go to my blog,, and click on the Freelancer's Survival Guide tab at the top. That will take you to the table of contents. The posts are clearly marked.

I hope this short book will help you avoid trouble. If you're already in trouble, I hope it'll help you resolve your problems.

—Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Lincoln City, Oregon
July 29, 2010