How to Avoid the Rejection Blues
by Rebekah Crane
Getting dumped sucks. Getting dumped over and over REALLY sucks. I know. I got dumped over seventeen times when I queried my first manuscript. And that was just by agents who requested the novel. I’m not even counting the number of query letters I sent out.
Rejection is inevitable in the publishing world. Whether you’re querying, submitting to publishers, releasing your first book or your tenth, you will get rejected.
Agents and publishers say over and over: this business is subjective. They aren’t trying to let you down easy. They’re telling the truth. Publishing is subjective. Imagine you’re sitting around with your best friend talking about books. She loves Cutting for Stone. Your favorite is Twilight. Duh. Books aren’t good without fangs! But she loves a good Biblical retelling.
It’s the same in the publishing industry. Not everyone is going to like your work. And it hurts something fierce when it seems like everyone feels that way. But it doesn’t mean your work sucks; it just means you haven’t found the right fit, or you haven’t written the right book yet, or you need more practice.
While I was querying my first book, every time I opened my computer I cringed. Would there be an email rejecting me? Would there be an email saving me, telling me I’m worth something in this business? I soon realized that a letter from an agent or publisher CAN’T be what gives me worth in writing. I have to give me worth. I have to write. And keep writing. And keep getting rejected. And seeking out the right story for me. Until I meet my match.
Publishing is kind of like high school. You wonder the halls trying to find people who will accept you. You look at the cool kids and want to be where they are. But the truth is that no one is perfect. Even the homecoming queen has a bad hair day.
When you’re feeling crushed about a rejection, look up any book on Goodreads. Someone has rated it with five stars. Someone has rated it with one. Someone has written a glowing review and someone has trashed the book. Bad reviews are kind of like rejections blasted out for the whole world to see.
When I finally did find a home for my second manuscript, PLAYING NICE, it made the rejections worth it. Even before I signed on the dotted line, I knew I was willing to work hard at being worth it.
My first manuscript never got picked up. It sits on my computer, alone, but not homeless. I’m it’s home. I learned so much from writing it, querying it, and getting rejected. It prepared me for publishing a book. It made me think about who I am as a writer and what I want to write.
Just like high school, it sucks to get dumped by someone you really like, but when you look back you realize it wasn’t wasted time. Every relationship is well spent in some regard… even if the person/agent/publisher breaks your heart.
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Genre – Young Adult / Bullying
Rating – PG13