Working Methods: REJECTION TIME

A novel of mine bounced again yesterday.

Like always, I opened the document where I have listed the names of publishing houses that might be right for this project, copy/pasted the adress of the next publisher on that list and sent the novel off again.

I only take one quick look at the reason I was given, why this particular publisher wasn’t interested. Some say it’s the plot. Some say it’s the characters. Some give off the unmistakeble feeling that they haven’t read the book. These are the worst kind of rejection. The editor sat on it for two months, wasting my time. And I’ve wasted his, obvoiously. I wish editors would read the first ten pages within a week, and reject it immediately, if they didn’t feel like reading on. Save us all some time.

I never change a comma after getting a rejection. If a publisher is interested and they want me to change stuff, great. But why would I try to adapt to the random opinion of somebody, who has already said no?

Dealing with rejection is part of being a writer. Everyone will tell you that. My advice is, try not to take it personally, and move on. Sure your book can be better, but you use your own judgement and a few carefully chosen readers for that part. When a publisher says no, you can’t expect a straight answer why. It’s like the girl that won’t go out with you. Don’t try to push her for reasons. Don’t take it personally. It’s chemistry. It’s that she’s in love with someone else, or is at a time and place in her life, where you just don’t fit in. I’ts bad luck. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies was rejected by twenty-one publishers before Faber and Faber finally picked it up. No sense ruminating or feeling sorry for yourself. Move on.

And send your novel off again. Immediately.

Last but not least, be busy. If you’re writing another book or excited about another project, rejection won’t knock you off your feet when it comes. And it will. If you sit around waiting for publishers to get back to you, you’ll be miserable. It takes months for them to not read your book. Mark the calender, write them back six weeks later and ask if they’ve gotten around to it, and you can get your rejection and move on. But you’re busy doing something else, so it doesn’t bother you so much, right?

Never wait. Send off your novel again and get back to work.

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