Though the words from the famous Kelly Clarkson song are about the loss of a jerk boyfriend and not for a first time writer trying to cope with the pain of opening up one rejection letter after another, the words still help. In all honesty, I’m taking the rejection letters rather calmly. Of course the first one, which wasn’t a letter, but an actual horrifying face to face rejection after a pitch, was the hardest. The others have just only stung a little.
I try to remember that it only takes one agent or small publisher to say “yes”, and just because others say no it doesn’t mean they are the end all be all, and the book will never be published.
Some of the most successful authors and books were rejected countless times before they were on millions of bookshelves across the world. J.K. Rowling was rejected twelve times with Harry Potter book one, Stephanie Meyer received nine rejections and five no answers for Twilight, and Kathryn Stockett was rejected a whopping total of sixty times for The Help.
In total I have submitted my manuscript to twelve agents and one small publisher and I’ve received six rejections. As I said, each one brings a sting of disappointment, but none of them have made me want to quit or give up.
I understand why the letters sent are form letters as I can only imagine how many queries agents get every day, but I do wish they were a little more personal, or even have maybe a reason or two.
I have to laugh, though, when I read “This industry is incredibly subjective…” or “Because this industry is so subjective…” Really? I wonder how many of those responses J.K. Rowling received. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to have said that to J.K. Rowling about her young Mr. Potter and a franchise that is now worth $15 billion dollars?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying agents are idiots or anything. Believe me, I know their job must be difficult and they certainly have every right to have their own tastes in books and what they want to represent. I am just merely stating how funny and confusing I think the whole endeavor is at times.
With any luck I will get an acceptance from one of the other six agents I’m waiting on or the small publisher. If not, then I’m going to just send out more queries and keep writing my next book. While away for a work conference this past weekend I started my next manuscript.
After two and a half years it was weird writing new characters in a new world, but it was also exciting too and I can’t wait to write more of this new adventure while I wait as patiently as I can for the rest of the responses.