By: Clover Brooks
Ah yes… the one thing authors dread the most (other than tripping and falling over writer’s block).
(Not relationship rejection, mind you. Book rejection. Let’s clear that up right now, haha).
I just experienced this recently as I received yet another rejection letter for the first book in my original series, Soul Mate. It’s been like pulling teeth trying to get this piece prepared to send out, and it hurts like a stab wound to the chest when it gets denied. But you know what? It’s completely normal. Most authors out there have been rejected most of the time. The Diary of Anne Frank was rejected up to 16 times. Harry Potter was rejected between 9 and 18 times (depends on the source). Agatha Christie was rejected for up to 5 years – continually. Gone With The Wind was rejected up to 38 times.
The Diary of Anne Frank was rejected up to 16 times. Harry Potter was rejected between 9 and 18 times (depends on the source). Agatha Christie’s work was rejected for up to 5 years – continually. Gone With The Wind was rejected up to 38 times.
This just goes to show some of the classics that we know today went through a hard time trying to get up off the ground. And hey, on the bright side, it’s great learning these things early on. To accept that someone doesn’t like your work can actually help you expand your horizons. I’ll knock you off of your high horse and keep you humble. Writing isn’t an easy craft and realizing that it’s hard will only make us stronger. Learning from your rejections can make you even stronger.
Learning from your rejections can make you even stronger, too. Take what they say with a grain of salt sometimes, but really study their advice. They work with books all day, every day, and if they have a bit of advice they send to you in the rejection letter, take it. Try to find what they didn’t like and see what you can do with it. You’re the creator of your world, after all.
If you’re receiving the form letter type rejections, you may want to go back through your work and see what you can improve on. I’ll (hopefully) be publishing some great advice I got from a woman who works at a small publishing company that centers around self-editing. So keep your eyes out for that!
So, if you’ve been rejected by an agent, publisher, or editor, it’s okay! Everyone has gone through it, or at least something very similar. My book Soul Mate has been rejected up to 5 times, but hey, that just means an acceptance is coming! The publisher, agent, or editor of your dreams is out there, you just have to push through the hard times.
Also, keep in mind that acceptance isn’t the end of the line. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done once an agent, editor, or publisher has accepted your project. Just keep up the can-do spirit and achieve your dreams! You have other authors, writers, and probably even your friends and family supporting you on your quest to publication! We all believe you can do it, so get out there and get it done! Get that research done, manuscript polished, and query letters written!
Rejection doesn’t have to be the end all, be all. Keep moving forward. Greatness is in your future.