How to Deal with Rejections to your Queries for Publishing.
After hours of writing and editing, grooming and beefing up your story (essentially, your baby), naturally the next step is to put it out there.
It's a little nerve-wracking to trust your baby to take its first steps and be criticized and judged by perfect strangers who hold the potential to publish you and help you achieve your goals of becoming a world renowned author!
But what happens when that perfect stranger reads your queries or even your story and casts it against the rocks, turning their nose up at it and walks away?
Well, before you go postal, take a deep breath and realize that every big name author also started out as a nobody and went through countless rejections before their story fell into the perfect hands.
As an aspiring author myself, there are a lot of things that I've had to come to terms with when my first query response returned as a "NO".
First of all, I had to accept that I might not be "The Shit".
After all the work I had put into my writing, I was positive that it was GOLD! Everyone who had read it agreed with me and my head was approaching astronomical proportions.
There was no doubt in my mind that I would be picked up immediately and by the end of the year, signing my second contract with my agent begging me to write a sequel (I know...).
The simple, heartless line, "Not what we're looking for", brought my Cloud 9 dreams to a screeching halt!
Surely this agent was out of their mind!
And then I received my next rejection...and then the next.
It's sad when your dream has to come down from naivety back to a reality based foundation. The magic of it all sort of dims.
"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely."
So, after a few days of wallowing in self pity,
I reevaluated, brushed myself off and realized that just because they said no didn't mean there was anything wrong with my story.
It wasn't that my story and I were "Not what we're looking for";
It was now, that publisher was "Not what I'm looking for".
Which brings me to my second point, just because one publisher didn't like my story, doesn't mean they all feel that way.
Agencies are bombarded by queries, so its easy to see why some publishers only want whats "hot". But who's to say you're not holding the next flame?
What may be less than entertaining to one may be gold to another!
Besides, the way I see it (and yes, I am selfish), I poured my heart, soul, time, blood, sweat and tears into my work. If that wasn't enough, it took every ounce of bravery to put myself out there enough to allow others to read it once it was finished and finally I believed in myself enough to attempt to publish it; therefore, I deserve an agent who will fall head over heels in love with my idea and characters. I deserve a coach who I can trust not to swindle me for a pretty penny, but to be excited about every new adventure.
So, I may not be "The Shit", but I do believe in myself and my passion for writing.
And with every rejection, it's one step closer to finding the right publisher for me.
Third thing that I've realized, I'm not gonna lie, those positive vibes are hard to keep up some days.
Especially on days when I am sick and tired of my 9-5 job and I know that writing has the potential to offer me a sense of freedom if I got good enough.
On those days, when I shake my fist at the Publisher Gods for not dubbing me their golden child yet or when I read a particularly horrible book and the "how did THAT CRAP get published when I cant?" jealousy chokes me, I have to ask myself, why do I write?
(This is actually a really good question to ask yourself when you find yourself at a tough point in your writing process and you're thinking about quitting.)
Why do I write?
If the potential for money was no longer there, would I write?
If I did not receive complements or praise for my work, would I write?
If there was no possibility for popularity or fame?
If there was no one else to read my stories, would I still?
Even if I could somehow tell the future (just go with me here) and I knew that I would never get published, ever, would I still write?
The answer is...yes. Always YES.
I started writing purely because I enjoyed it. Creating worlds, manipulating fates, watching a hero find himself, developing a bad guy, impossible love...it all makes writing worth it to me.
When I first started writing, I would have kept all that magic to myself, only my best friend in middle school encouraged (cough...cough...blackmailed) me into letting her read my first story (that I never finished by the way), and I've been sharing ever since.
So, when the jealousy or bitterness is on the rise, I remind myself that I write for ME, because its FUN and I will continue to do it...probably until my fingers fall off.
The last thing that I've realized about dealing with rejection is to never give up!
Never. Give. Up!
I tried for three years and was just about to give up just before I got my first legit publishing offer for an e-book contract. Of course, I grabbed it with both hands.
When the contract fell through less than a year later due to reasons out of my control, I picked right back up and did it myself.
For now, I am self-published with two amazingly awesome books available on e-book and I have their sequels on the way! I love it!
Does that mean that I've stopped fishing for an agent or publisher?
I continue to query. I continue to write and edit and better myself,
because writing is what I love to do!
And one day, when the stars align and the Publishing Gods call my name,
I will be ready!
Now Available on E-book
"There is no Prince Charming"