Don’t give up!
Something isn’t striking a chord with editors so figure it out.
Perhaps your blurb is off-putting, the book is slow to start, pacing is awkward, or your characters aren’t defined.
Are you sending the right work to the wrong editor?
Have you truly defined your genre or are you waffling between two or even three?
I often ask people about their genre only to hear “well, it’s sort of a historical, coming of age, horror novel with aliens”. That’s not going to fly with editors.
Ask the most successful author you personally know to read your pitch and first chapters and give an honest opinion. If they cannot articulate their objections, then ask them to point out the areas where they got stuck or where they lost interest. Some of my best learning experiences have been through my rejection letters. I keep a file to remind me of my strengths and weakness. It is like having a tutorial at my fingertips
P.S. I had a friend who write 70 books and when she hit, there was no looking back. Be objective about your work, learn, and move forward. Good luck.
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Rejection – the inescapable bane of a writer’s life.
JK Rowling in her own words received “loads” of rejections and now she posts them on Twitter to encourage aspiring writers. I think that’s wonderful and says it all. If writing and sharing your work (publishing) is your driving passion then no, never give up.
It could, however, be time to ask yourself why. Publisher and agent rejections are based on a myriad of reasons. Sometimes you’ll get a form letter or you could receive a note with some details explaining the rejection. If you have, then study the reasons closely and consider revising your manuscript to accommodate the input. Hire an editor for a review from fresh eyes.
If you’re 100% confident your story is ready for publication, take another look at your submissions material. Could there be a better way to present the story? Be certain you’ve submitted to the right publisher. Harlequin is not interested in political thrillers and a romance editor would likely not read past the first line of your letter.
If you feel you have the perfect trifecta – manuscript, letter and synopsis – then keep on submitting until you land before the eyes of just that editor or agent who is looking for exactly what you’ve written. According to Ms. Rowling, that’s pretty much how it went for her: the right editor with the right eye and the right curiosity. Go for the long haul.
Today’s huge Indie market allows a writer to bypass traditional publishing (which has always seemed to be somewhat arbitrary) without giving up the dream. Self-publishing is a lot of work on top of the time and effort invested in writing a novel. It’s not enough to simply post the book. You must publicize and tout and twitter and tweet, Facebook and Instagram and fish for reviews. Going that particular long haul gives the author far greater control and ROI than any traditional publisher will provide—especially to a first-time author.
If you believe your work is the best it can be you have choices. Never give up.
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