Sunday, July 27, 2008


Two big thumbs down

A few weeks back, I told you I sent my book proposal out to seven publishers, this week I got three rejections on consecutive days, so that’s three down and four to go. Fortunately, rejection no longer fazes me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like it, I just don’t let it upset me any more. Three years ago, when I first began trying to get my writing published, I used to take rejections really personally, and I’d get totally disheartened when those SASE’s kept turning up in my mail box. It was as though they were saying that my work wasn’t up to scratch, and didn’t meet that publications high standards.

I now know this is not so. Getting a piece of work published is a very hit and miss affair, and frequently more miss than hit. It’s often just a case of being in the right place at the right time. Publishers and editors almost always say in their rejection letters, that your article, story, book, or what ever, doesn’t meet their needs at that time, and there can be any number of reasons for this.

That's why it’s very difficult for beginning writers to break into new markets, or any markets. No matter how well you write, the competition out there is fierce. Once you do manage to break into a market though, that editor is usually more than happy to work with you again. In some cases, they will even ask you to come up with ideas for the following year’s editorial calendar. But getting into that position is very tough.

Over the past few years, I’ve had to develop a very thick skin, and a dogged persistence. Sometimes that persistence pays off, more often than not it doesn’t, then you just have to cut your losses, and move on. But I always keep everything I’ve ever written, because I may be able to use it again one day.

As regards the three rejections, I’ll dust off my proposal, pick another three publishers from my list, and send them out again. Hopefully, one of them will end up in the right place at the right time.


pamokc said...

Am keeping my fingers crossed for you! I know there is a whole art in just the submission process from what I understand. Good luck and hoping all good things for you.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Hay 7 is a lucky number and so just hang in there, it's a tough game but perseverence will hopefully pay for you eventually.

plantgirl said...

Good tips - years ago I submitted some stuff to a few places and was so frustrated when it got rejected - but that makes me want to try again...

almostgotit said...

Timely post! I have an invitation for you:

REJECTION: come join the bloggy fun at

Please join me by

(a) posting on your OWN site (don't forget to send me a link!)

(b) emailing me your own rejection stories, poems, and rants -- or make a Rejection collage, magazine cover or poster (see my post today for online art-making links). Post on your own blog or send it to me to post almostgotit(at)

(c) leaving your own depressing or funny-depressing stuff in the comment section at

We've got one week, so wallow away!

Paula said...

Great attitude! I second everything you mentioned. Hold on tight to your dreams, and your persistence will pay off. Keep us posted!