Rejection isn’t a Reflection
Congratulations! You’ve done it. After spending countless hours coming up with at least twenty different ways to say “look”, doing research on subjects, that if anyone ever saw your browser history you’d have some serious explaining to do, and writing and rewriting, the book gods have smiled down on you and you’ve finally finished your novel. Hurrah!
Now that you have it in your hot little hands, you spend an equal amount of hours crafting the perfect query letter, certain that if someone takes a chance on it, they’ll be in awe of your gifted prose. Agents will be fighting to send you a contract. Publishers will duke it out over rights, each offering more money than the last, allowing you to final become a full-time author. Or at least that’s the hope. You hit send and wait for the offers to roll in.
And then you wait. And wait some more. Then after several weeks, you finally see a response in your inbox from one of the fifty agents you’ve queried. You bypass the cat videos your mom sent and practically knock your laptop off the table to open the Holy Grail of emails. And then you read the familiar: “Thank you for your query, but…” followed by something politically correct like, “I don’t think it’s a good fit.”
You’re disappointed. How can you not be? You’ve already pictured yourself writing your next three novels on the patio of your beach house overlooking the ocean. But it’s only one agent. No biggie. But then you get another one. And another. At first you think maybe my query letter isn’t as stellar as I thought it was, so you change it and send it off to more agents hoping for the best.
Rejection is tough
Thirty rejection letters later, and you’re ready to tear your hair out. The truth is you don’t even care about the money. You just want to be able to write. It’s your passion. The one thing that fuels your soul. But now that pesky self- doubt starts creeping in like spiders running around your brain.
Rejection is a tough thing. But as hard as it is, it’s not something you should take personally, especially if you’re a writer. Depending on your genre, most agents want you to have some kind of following before they’ll even consider taking you on as a client. They want to know that you can sell books.
Think about it from their point of view. How many books out there are free or cost a whopping $0.99? An agent has to be able to sell you, not just your book, to a publisher because, after all, publishing is a business. They want authors to have a proven fan base because they need to charge way more for a book than self-publishers.
Don’t give up
And if that doesn’t convince you, remember J.K Rowling received dozens of rejection letters. Rejection may be more about your marketability than a reflection on your writing. Make sure you’re seeking critiques on your writing from people that will be honest about your work and won’t just say what you want to hear (thanks Mom!). That’s how writers grow. If you’re doing that, and you’re confident in your writing, then keep writing until you find your audience.
And don’t write off self-publishing. It doesn’t have the negative stigma it once did. Writers have more avenues to promote themselves and be successful, another reason why agents and publishers usually tend to select authors with a fan base and proven sales. Use rejection as fuel to motivate you. If you’ve received a rejection letter, you’re in good company. You join the ranks of J.K Rowling, Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and a slew of others. Keep writing and chasing your dream, and someday agents may be kicking themselves for passing on your masterpiece. Write for you and find your audience. If you do, the rest will come in time.
Please check out my self-help books Why Am I Still Single? A Tough Love Guide for Single Women and Pain, Pain Go Away available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. And be sure to watch for my first contemporary romance duet. The journey begins with the The Rise to Fame due out the end of June 2018, and concludes in The Cost of Fame due out the end of August 2018.
About the Author
Shay Stone started her writing career after a car accident left her unable to read or look at a computer. Ironic, right? Many years, and hours of vision therapy later, and voila! she wrote her first book. She lives in Georgia with her four dogs and one cat, that thinks he is a dog. If you happen to be driving around Atlanta, there is a good chance you will see her dancing in her car and singing (poorly) to some ‘80s tune. She has no shame.
Her passions include writing and traveling. She writes strong women with a bit of attitude, and flawed men that you can’t help but fall in love with to create that once in a lifetime love one page at a time. She has two self-help books – Pain, Pain, Go Away, and Why Am I Still Single? A Tough Love Guide for Single Women published by Pie Plate Publishing. The Rise to Fame is her first contemporary romance.
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