Most writers have faced rejection at some point in their careers. Some well-known authors like George Orwell, Stephen King and JK Rowling faced multiple refusals from publishers, before they went on to become best-selling authors.
Rejection is not entirely a bad thing, and should not make you think that you are a bad writer. Here are some things to consider when your writing is rejected by a publisher:
1. Understand Why You Got Rejected
Besides the quality of your writing, there are several other factors that can make a publisher reject your manuscript.
• Consider whether you sent your book to a suitable publisher for that particular niche or genre. Every publishing house has its own preference for genre or type of book.
• Rejection letters also happen for something as simple as not having followed publishers’ guidelines. Some publishers get so many manuscripts to read that they weed out a lot just for not adhering to their guidelines.
• Another important thing to consider is the quality of your pitch (or query letter, or proposal). Publishers often use this to evaluate your writing quickly, and determine whether your book is worth reading or not. If your pitch is not convincing enough, chances are that your book did not even get a reading.
• Finally, look at your first chapter as a possible reason for rejection. The first chapter is the hook that should draw the reader in. If your book is absolutely gripping after the first couple of chapters, it wouldn’t do you much good. Most publishers spend only a few minutes to get a feel for your book, and drop a book if they don’t like the first few pages.
2. Don’t Take It Personally
Rejection hurts, but try not to take it personally. Publishers get millions of manuscripts to read through every year, and often make rapid assessments without giving every book a fair chance.
Some publishers are nice enough to send a letter back with detailed edits while returning your manuscript. Congratulate yourself that an editor went through and read your manuscript, and felt it was worthy enough of constructive feedback. Accept the criticism and use it improve your writing.
3. Publishers Are Not Always Right
It can be a matter of luck whether your book is assigned to the newest super-critical assistant editor at the publishing house, or a super-busy senior editor, or to someone who will actually give it a proper reading. Many wonderful manuscripts have been rejected by top publishers for ridiculous reasons. So, take heart. Publishers make mistakes all the time.
4. Persist and Persevere
This is what makes the difference between a serious writer and a wannabe. If you love to write, and you believe in your writing, you cannot let a rejection stop you. Perseverance pays, as has been proven by many popular authors who went on to reach amazing heights, even after numerous rejections.
5. Try Alternate Channels
Don’t get discouraged just because your favorite publisher turned you down. Most authors try to contact at least a dozen publishers for a fair shot, while some authors send to even more of them. Try to get a great agent, or send lots of query letters to publishers and agents (many writers do send hundreds of them for a single book!).
Finally, you can always try the indie publishing and self-publishing routes. Self-publishing is a great way to get your book out there, and get some good feedback from real readers. There is also the chance that if your self-published book is successful, it might get noticed and picked up by a publishing house.
Image credit: Sean MacEntee on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CS_Rajan.jpg [/author_image] [author_info]CS Rajan is a freelance writer who loves to write on various topics, and is currently working on her first novel. [/author_info] [/author]