Rejections: An Author Weighs In
Posted by Lauren Ruth
There has been an awful lot of talk about rejections on the Internet of late. I’ve even had my own say. Now, prolific author, Stacey Kennedy shares her thoughts! Stacey, take it away!
If you’re a new author, you’ll need to grow thick skin before sending off that first query letter. Now I’m not saying you might be one of the lucky ones that get good news right away. You could be. But…for most of us, your inbox will start filling up with those letters you will soon grow to hate. The rejection letter.
So how do you deal with it?
Cry? Scream at the top of your lungs? Toss your laptop out the window? I’m sure you’ll want to do one of those things, but what you don’t do is respond to the letter. Unless it’s a lovely, thank you for your time. By all that is holy, keep your angry thoughts to yourself. I’m sure many of you have heard of an author who has sent a nasty email back in response to a rejection letter. Maybe even laughed at it—I know I have. But trust me, it’ll get you nowhere. Agents and editors have a close working relationship with each other—they talk—and the last thing you want is to be labeled a diva! It’s a sure way to see the number of rejection letters in your inbox increase.
The thing to remember is…its one person’s opinion. As a reader, I’m sure you have picked up a book, read it and thought to yourself, “Ugh. I hated that book!” Just as you have your opinions on what makes a great story, so do agents and editors. But just because your story doesn’t work for one agent or editor, doesn’t mean someone else isn’t going to love it. (SO TRUE!! Oh. Sorry, Stacey. As you were saying…)
So don’t burn your bridges. In many cases, agents might pass on a project, but hand it over to someone else in their agency. Now if you happen to respond with some horrible message saying nasty things, that open door you received will slam shut. Forever.
No matter how many rejection letters you receive, they still sting, and it’s hard to swallow. No one wants to be rejected. But the best advice I can tell you is find a friend; another author going through the same process who you can vent to. There’s nothing wrong with letting off a little steam because the story you love isn’t receiving the attention you think it deserves.
Once that’s out of your system, open a new email message and send out another round of query letters. Go to conferences and meet with your dream agents. Enter your story into contests. Do whatever you have to do to sell your story! If you get feedback from an agent, consider it and if you agree, apply it to your work. But always keep moving forward.
Rejection letters are painful. They always will be. But the key is to not let it drag you down. Keep writing. Keep querying. And keep believing in your work!
Thanks for your thoughts, Stacey. Couldn’t have said it better myself!
Posted on September 16, 2011, in Advice, literary agency, manuscripts, queries, rejection and tagged author weighs in, dealing with rejection, rejection, rejection letters, replying to rejection letters. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.