Five months and two days ago, I received my first rejection letter from a publisher. I won’t bother mentioning the publisher’s name because it doesn’t really matter. But after reading the letter, I knew what I did wrong with my submission. Yes, I read the submission guidelines thoroughly – twice. But I still missed a few steps along the way, which had nothing to do with my writing or the publishing process. My get-it-done personality got in the way.
Vague Wording in Rejection Letter
I could tell my rejection letter was a form letter. The publisher inserted my name, the title of my book, and a clicked on a rejection reason. Then the system populated the necessary fields, and the publisher hit send on the email.
But I learned a lot about myself as a writer. First, my get-it-done personality likes to sacrifice quality for quantity. I took months to write and edit my story, and I wanted to get my manuscript to a publisher right away.
Second, I’m a perfectionist. I read the submission guidelines closely but I forgot to make sure my story fit the particular call.
“Unfortunately, after careful consideration, we have decided that it is not a perfect fit for inclusion in our upcoming…”
The publisher didn’t say whether my story was good or bad. Well, unless “not a perfect fit,” is just a polite way of telling me that my story needed more work. I don’t know. But suddenly, I couldn’t take my eyes away from the word, perfect.
I’ve never been perfect for anything. But maybe imperfection is the educational part of creative writing. I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to persistent and strive to learn something new from every rejection letter I receive..
Some Learning Curves in Writing are Hard to Navigate
At first, I struggled with the publisher’s rejection letter because it was very vague and impersonal. Initially, I wanted to forget about traditional publishing and try to self-publish my story. Then I did some more research and learned about all the benefits in choosing a traditional publisher over self-publishing.
Through the submission process, I learned a lot about the writing and publishing industries. I received a rejection letter, but not all is lost. Yes, I had my heart set on working with one particular publisher, but now I know there are many others to choose from.
Reviews from my Guest Readers
According to my guest readers , my book, Creative Juices, is a fun read. Some of my readers want to read it again, while others want a paper copy. But my biggest learning curve happened when one of my readers wanted to know when the next book was coming out.
When I first started writing Creative Juices, I didn’t think about making it a miniseries. But now, I think it would work as one. My readers still want to know more about the characters and they can’t wait to find out what happens next. I learned that I always need to think about what’s next when writing.
In closing, I’m glad that I finished writing the novella. I honestly wanted to throw in the towel several times, but I didn’t. Now, I have an opportunity to make it a duology or trilogy. And, based upon my reader’s feedback, I’m sure they’ll support me along the way.
If you’re a writer and you receive a rejection letter from a publisher don’t worry. Keep going because there are a lot of publishers looking for stories. And, I can honestly say that just by hitting a submit button, I already felt accomplished. So, that has to be worth something, right?