Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ouch! That Hurts!

Rejection. It’s part of a writer’s life.

There are lots of different reasons for a publisher rejecting a manuscript:

1.     They have just published a similar book

2.    They don’t publish picture books (do your research before submitting)

3.    They don’t publish fantasy or mysteries or books about holidays (again, do your research)

4.    Your word length is too long or too short (check those submission guidelines)

5.    Your manuscript is sloppy (spelling mistakes, page layout etc.) – one of the easiest things to correct

6.    Your characters are one dimensional or stereotyped

7.    Your dialogue is flat and lacks sparkle

8.    You rely too much on coincidence

9.    Your opening chapter did not compel the editor to keep reading

10.  You lack a satisfying resolution.

That’s only a start. But you can probably group all rejections into two categories:

1.     Your manuscript is not up the publisher’s standards

2.    Your manuscript does not meet the needs of the publisher.

General George S. Patton said,

          “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.”

Rejection definitely feels like hitting bottom.

Here are some rejection stories to encourage you to bounce back:

Agatha Christie had 5 years of rejection before going on to achieve sales in excess of 2 billion (only Shakespeare has sold more)

JK Rowling had 12 rejections for the first Harry Potter book which included the advice to “get a day job because you have little chance of making money in children’s books.)

Louis l”Amour had 200 rejections and ended up with 330 million dollars in sales.

Dr. Seuss was told his book was “too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”

Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected 140 times.

L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables was rejected 5 times.

Beatrix Potter was rejected so many times for Peter Rabbit that she ended up self publishing. She was later picked up by a publisher and her sales reached 45 million dollars.

Margaret Mitchells’ Gone with the Wind was rejected 30 times.

 Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight was rejected 12 times and ended up being on the New York Times bestseller list for 91 weeks.

The Wrinkle in Time was rejected 26 times and won the Newbery Medal.

Help by Kathryn Stockett was rejected 60 times.

Alex Haley’s Roots was rejected 200 times and made 1.5 million dollars in sales in its first 7 months.

My record is 26 rejections for a manuscript that is dear to my heart and still unsold. Some of the rejections have included constructive critique and I continue to revise and resubmit.

So, next time a rejection hurts, remember you are not alone!

No comments:

Post a Comment