A few of my friends have been woe-is-meing over rejections lately (rightly so) and I’ve had my fair share already so it begs this question – what do you do about them? Do you Google the agent/editor/publisher, print their picture out and hang it on your dart board? Do you count them so you can avoid some magical number you have in your head that it takes to get to before you’ll get a yes? Do you save them all in a special file tagged ‘people to eliminate first in the event of a zombie apocalypse and then pin the blame on the undead’ . Me? I don’t do any of that (I promise). I’ve never even counted them. I do keep the rejections in my email, though this is more so I don’t double up and resend the same thing to the same person. I don’t want to upset someone so they dump my name on their spam list. Or worse. Gulp. Block me.
But really, at the end of the day, you sent your submission to an agent/ed/publisher and they didn’t want it. Upsetting? Yes. The end of the world? Never. Read the rejection word by word, slowly and with dry eyes. Did they give any feedback on the why’s and why not’s? Did they offer an invitation to submit again? After you’ve established this, put the letter/email away for a few days and come back to it and read it again. Never send an email asking them to change their mind. Never send a letter asking for a reason. Say thanks for your time and then move on to the next agent/ed/publisher. If it’s the 36th rejection you’ve received for the same manuscript and you’ve never got any feedback or further requests, it might be time to shelve the story for a bit and work on something new...
It’s really important to stay professional and to think positive. Especially at this time of year. I hate getting bad news at Christmas but could you imagine getting hate mail at Christmas? Nasty emails? Paper bags filled with poo? I don’t much think agents/eds/publishers would either. I don't know if it's just me but I don't get upset over rejections any more. Maybe I'm used to them? Just kidding. I think it's because I'm in this for the long haul and eventually I know the right person for my story will come along and they'll love it so much they'll buy it. And then we can all live happily ever after.
Now onto something that isn’t a rejection. I won Spacecoast Authors Launching A Star contest in the historical category!! Merry Christmas to me! It really has been an interesting year filled with wins, finals, rejections, happy dancing and commiserations. Here’s hoping next year is filled with sales! For everyone!
Happy holidays and have a merry Christmas! I’ll catch you in the new year =)