No one likes to be rejected, but it is something everyone encounters at some point in life. It is no different for a writer.
Every writer dreams of receiving that glorious letter stating that a publisher would love to publish their book. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes, the publisher sends a rejection letter, and other times, there is no response at all.
What exactly does the silence or rejection mean? Here are some common possibilities:
- Your work is not ready to be published at this time.
- Your work is not a good fit for us at this time.
- For some reason, something in your book is not a match for us at this time.
Silence and rejection should not be taken personally, even though that may be difficult to accept. Use this experience as a learning tool. Many famous writers were rejected numerous times. For example:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling received 14 rejections.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle received 29 rejections.
Carrie by Stephen King received over 30 rejections.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell received 38 rejections.
Ray Bradbury received over 800 rejections before publishing his first story.
What can a writer do after receiving a rejection or no response at all?
- Go back over the manuscript to be sure that it is the best it can possibly be. This may include hiring an editor (or another editor) to look things over before re-submission.
- Look at the submission guidelines for the publishing house. Be realistic. Just because you want to publish with this house, it does not mean it is the best fit for your work. If that is the case, explore other options.
- Consider submitting a different story altogether.
- Consider self-publication. While it is not the solution for everyone, it is always a possibility.
The most important thing to remember is to continue writing!