How to Avoid the Rejection Blues

Let us start with a basic fact - no one ever said this was going to be easy. Writing and being published is not for the faint of heart. It takes determination, perseverance, and hope. If you give up easily, stop writing now.

There are a couple of ways to make sure you do not get too down on yourself. The first is to realize that it will happen. Your writing career will be filled with ups and downs so get used to it. There will be times when you are thrilled because an agent or publisher is handling your book. At other times, you will be discouraged because sales are low or nonexistent. That does not mean you are not a good writer or that people don’t love you. It means you or your publisher have to do more marketing. Writing a book is only a third of the battle; finding an agent or publisher is the second third and getting people to buy it is the last third.

Another thing you must realize is that publishing is a business, a for profit business. If an agent does not think a publisher will be interested in your book because it does not have a wide enough audience to have significant sales, then they will not represent you. If they think your book ain’t going to make them any money, they ain’t going to publish it.

Prepare yourself for a tidal wave of rejections. It is a fact of the writer’s life. Not everyone likes what you write. Get over it. You have a greater chance of being hit by lighting twice in the same month than you do of being the next blockbuster author with you first book. You may think is too cynical but you have to realize the reality of the situation.

Understand that it is all about the numbers: if you query 150 agents (yes, you may have to do that many), you might get 70 or so “thanks for thinking of us but it is not right for us,” emails. You will not hear back from the rest. If they are not interested, they will not take the time to respond. It is a business decision and nothing personal. Taking the time to respond to every query they get would take up a tremendous amount of and makes no financial sense. However, all you need is one agent or publisher who thinks your book is worthwhile. The more rejections you get is an indication of how hard you are willing to work and how strongly you believe in yourself. If you know that you are a good writer, if people tell you that you know how to tell a story, that they did not want to put your book down, then you need to believe in yourself and be willing to put in as much time and effort as necessary to get published.

Never give up no matter many rejections you get. If you believe in yourself, then someone else will too.


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