Writing Tip Wednesday: Rejection

Written by on June 5, 2013 in Writing Tips - Leave a Comment

If you’ve been pitching your project to agents and publishers, you’ve likely worked up quite the stack of rejection letters. So, how do you cope with the rejection? Here are a few tips for handling the bad news:

  1. Don’t take it personally – Hard to do, but essential in the wide world of publishing. The editor or agent who reviewed your project wasn’t rejecting you. Often, they’re not even rejecting your book. Instead, they’re acknowledging that you’re not a good fit for their strengths or core audience. Over time, you’ll develop valuable callouses that can make rejection easier, so soldier on and know that it gets less painful. 
  2. Reevaluate – Are you sending your book to the RIGHT publishers and agents? Should you be looking at smaller presses? Take the time to see what markets and audiences each publisher you pitch to sells best to and, if it’s not your target audience, you’re barking up the wrong proverbial tree.
  3. Edit – Take a good, long look at any criticism you receive in your rejection letters. It’s natural to get defensive – your book is your baby, after all – and say that it’s perfect the way it is. But, if you’re receiving commentary about the length, for example, it may be time to sit down with a book editor and make some changes to the book.
  4. Go it alone – If you’re not finding the reception you’d like with publishers and agents, it may be time to think about self-publishing. The decision to go that route is one that should be made with a lot of thought and preparation, but it’s a great choice for many writers.

So, do you have a stack of rejection letters sitting on your desk? What are you doing about it?

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