Monday, June 27, 2011

Second-Guessing Game

In the writer's world, a rejection is probably the toughest thing to process and internalize. One of my book submissions was recently rejected. As in most cases, I really don't have any concrete idea why. The vast majority of rejections are done via a polite uninformative form letter for one simple reason--time.

When a publisher/editor rejects a book, regardless of the reason, they have determined that book will not be part of their future. Why spend any more time on something that will show no monetary return? It isn't their responsibility to help the author further their career.

That creates a quandary for the writer. Initially, there's the urge to write back, offering to fix whatever needs to be changed. We have so little true confidence we immediately assume there must be something wrong with our writing. Perhaps it was a lousy book...Maybe our writing sucks.

But wait! There are other reasons for a book to be rejected, my inner voice cautions.

Oh, yeah? the sucky writer part of me jeers. Name one.

Well. I flounder to a halt, madly searching my brain for one legitimate reason. I know! The book might be too long.

So? If that was the case, wouldn't they say 'revise and resubmit'? taunts the sucky writer.

Maybe. Maybe not. Or maybe the book didn't fit exactly in one of the genres they sell.

Sucky writer snorts. Riiiiight.

Well, they might have too many Celtic Time Travel Survival Suspense Romances on their roster.

Sucky writer makes a rude noise.

All right. Maybe there was too much sex.

At that sucky writer rolls on the floor laughing.

Not enough sex?

Maybe that scene where they get it on in the rain? sucky writer challenges slyly.

That wasn't that hot, I object.

Get a beta reader, sucky writer dares.

Yeah. Get a beta reader, I agree.

In the meantime, I'll get back on my writing horse and start another book.



  1. Sorry about the rejection honey. Rejection sucks!


  2. Rejection does suck, Anny. I always figure my book is rejected for a reason and it will find the perfect home somewhere else. Sometimes that happens, sometimes not. But don't get down on yourself. You're a fabulous writer!


  3. Hugs, rejections are always hard no matter the reason. And it could very well be they were looking for genre specific. Are you going to submit elsewhere? And have you given any thought to Amazon or Smashwords?

  4. Hmmm...maybe youre aiming at sucky publishers. Just because all the supposedly cool kids go there doesn't mean you should. Move away from the pack Anny

  5. There are a lot of reasons for rejections. And most of them don't involve sucky writing. (Which you don't.) But it can drive you crazy trying to figure out what to fix and where to send it next, that's for sure!

  6. With your back list, I'd be willing to bet that particular editor had too many of whatever genre you sent. If at first you don't succeed, try try again....;) You'll find the right home! It's their loss; move on.

  7. I have to say, Listen to the voice that says to submit somewhere else!!!!

    I love your writing. There are others out there like me. Many times the people who send out the rejections just don't care enough about writers to give feedback. Mean, but very true.

    If you have to submit to twenty different publishers, then eventually odds are that someone will give you feedback eventually.

    Please, please persevere and submit somewhere else. I still love all of your books and believe in you as a writer.

  8. Some friends and I used to keep a rejection thread on a forum we belonged to. It was amazing, when you got feedback, how it contradicted itself. I had one book rejected because the characters "weren't compelling". That book went on to be a featured pick at Night Owl because the characters were "compelling".

  9. Heh. If you ever want to really scratch your head in amazement, go read the reviews for some of your favorite "big name" authors. They range all the way from ZERO stars (DNF) to FIVE stars (It was an amazing book!)

    I'm not depressed over the rejection. Just trying to decide where to send it. Ladies, I thank you so much for your encouraging words and your thoughts about the process!

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