Coping with rejection by Publishers and Literary Agents
by Marie Grossett 10/31/2012 / Writing
The response that you're receiving is not the response that you want, as you either get letters of 'unfortunately' or you don't hear anything at all.
This makes you go into a strop. You get frustrated and even angry at the prospect that your manuscript is being rejected, you then start to question, 'What is wrong with this story... why won't anyone accept my manuscript?' You know that if you were given a chance your book could be the next award winner and best seller.
Due to the disappointments you put the manuscript in the cupboard, dare not submitting it to other publishers or agents as you cannot take another 'no'.
Though you are aware that disappointments happen in life this one is different. People are rejecting your creative talent and work. Work that you've spent months or even years completing, it even took up your social life. Your manuscript is your 'baby' and when someone rejects your 'baby' it hurts.
It's understandable that you would get upset but do you give up? I believe you know the answer to that question is a big fat 'No'.
Before the bestselling authors got their break through they also had to overcome this obstacle of refusal.
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) received 134 rejections. Beatrix Potter had to initially self publish The Tale of Peter Rabbit, since she received numerous rejections from traditional publishers.
On interviewing bestselling inspirational fiction Author Judy Baer I asked her how long it took to get her first major contract. She responded, 'The first book I wrote (never sold) took me one year to write. The next two proposalsone for a young adult novel and the other inspirational romancesold within three weeks of each other!' Now she has written over 71 books for various traditional publishers.
What you need to understand about the world of publishing is like all businesses they are there to make money. For them investing in an unknown Author is a major financial risk that they are not willing to take. For Literacy Agents they rely on the Authors sales for money that is why they take 15% commission for royalties, which is why I believe many of them are extremely choosing on who they accept. They thoroughly analysis if the book has the potential of becoming a best seller or not.
Not all traditional publishers or agents are money or sales orientated; there are some that do accept what is called 'unsolicited manuscript.' This is a manuscript that has never been asked for by an agent or publisher; most of these manuscripts are from unknown authors (I know not a nice name to call a piece of work that you spent most of your life working on).
Here are my tips when looking for a publisher or agent:
The obvious is to look for an agent or publisher that does your genre, i.e. if you are writing for children look for a children's publisher. I know this is obvious but when speaking to people who work in publishing houses, they have advised me that they get a lot of manuscripts for genre's that they don't even publish. Not only is it unprofessional but it's a waste of your time and theirs.
Follow the submission guidelines carefully. If they want the manuscript in a certain format do it. If they say they don't accept unsolicited manuscript, don't send them your manuscript you can write them a letter with your idea and they'll get back to you on whether they will accept it or not.
I would advise submit two to five publishers or agents a day. You also need to give yourself a break.
Finally never give up.
So get your manuscript out of that cupboard and start submitting. You will get that agent or publisher saying 'yes' to your work when you least expect it.
Marie Grossett aka Vanessa Grossett is a published Author, and has interviewed best selling and award winning Christian Authors.