Unless you have never left your house, you know what rejection feels like. It’s gut wrenching. Your heart hurts. There’s a lump in your throat. And when you’ve poured yourself into a manuscript, only to receive a rejection letter, how do you pick up the pieces and move on?
In this chapter, Ueland shows the difference between what she considers ‘good’ writing and ‘better’ writing. In her opinion, it’s all about the way in which you tell your story. I learned it’s purely subjective. What one thinks is compelling and well-written another may find boring and mediocre.
That’s the trick to overcoming rejection letters. It’s a matter of opinion. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer or that your manuscript sucks; it just means your work is not what that publisher is looking for.
“This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘to the editor who can appreciate my work’ and it has simply come back stamped ‘Not at this address’. Just keep looking for the right address.”
― Barbara Kingsolver
So, what can you do to keep looking? Here are a 10 tips:
- Never give up. Keep sending, writing, and sending.
- Remember that a lot of crap and awesome stuff gets published. I bet you’ve come across a book and thought, “I could have done better than this.”
- Be yourself. Let your natural gifts shine and show passion in what you do. If you’re excited, others will be too.
- Blog/write about it. Writing about your submission experiences can be therapeutic and help others get through their own obstacles. Be open and honest.
- Be realistic. Ever heard “Don’t quit your day job”? Follow that advice and don’t expect to become a star overnight.
- Do your research and get creative. Send it to lesser-known publishers, too. Follow all the rules and guidelines per submission, and have fun. It doesn’t matter who publishes it as long as it’s available.
- Release it in parts on a blog and build an audience and followers. Readers are loyal, and if they love the story, they’ll stop and read it.
- Self publish an e-book. Amazon is a well-respected rite. You never know what will happen.
- Set up a Kickstarter campaign and get the word out. People love contributing to these projects, and I was a small contributor to this one: Apocalypse Now. It was a cool experience and works!
- If you’re set on going the traditional route, then save some money and contact a publisher. For a fee, they may publish and distribute the book for you.
With these in mind, I’d like to give a shout out to my good pal Kevin who recently published his first novel, Crazy Lucky Dead. It was a great project to work on, and I hope you all will check it out!
Read about how to start your own blog, and share any tips you have below!