Written by Laura Rensing, Editorial Assistant Extraordinaire
Shhhh….I’m taking over Wendy’s blog today. She’s busy trying to chase down publishers, which leaves me to make like Mickey in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice while she’s preoccupied (though hopefully I don’t end up flooding the place in the meanwhile!).
I think one of the most important things an author can learn is how to deal with rejection, and I unfortunately have a front row seat for when we have to turn down a project.
Getting a book published requires tough skin and the ability to plow through a whole lot of “no”. If I had a dollar for every author who wrote us back and said that they had nabbed an agent, gotten a book deal, self-published, or even made our agency turn around and pick them up after our initial rejection, I could go on a vacation to Hawaii. I might even have enough to take Wendy with me.
The fact is that rejection isn’t the end of a project; it’s one step in a process that can lead to you getting published if you know how to get past it.
There are three CRUCIAL things to remember whenever someone says “No, thanks.”
- It’s not you, it’s the industry (No, really). Personally, Wendy would love to work with just great ideas and forget about the rest, but at the end of the day, publishing is a business. Publishers have to go after what they think will 1) make money and 2) be a great book in that order. It’s not that they don’t want to publish great books, but they also have to pay the bills and that requires books that will sell.
- “No” is just one step closer to “yes.” Wendy said something odd the other day after she got off a call with an editor who rejected one of our projects. She told me “Good. Now we’re starting to see who really wants this project,” and picked up the phone and got right back to calling (that book sold two days later!). Hearing who doesn’t want your project narrows down the list of who is really invested in your success.
- Rejection letters can become acceptance letters! Einstein once said that “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Rejection is just one moment in time, not a lifetime. In fact, one of our recent authors that we initially rejected kept in contact with us, took one of our Mastermind programs, and just signed a contract for agency representation with us last week! Keep with it and eventually you’ll have that breakthrough!
I hope this helped all you budding authors out there! And if you get a chance, be sure to tell Wendy how amazing her assistant is.
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