Rejection. This is something that everyone goes through, not once or twice, but multiple times throughout life. It doesn't matter what type of rejection it is, but I'm sure if you're reading this now, you've experienced it.
However today I will discuss writers rejection: Querying Literary Agents.
Did you know that some of the greatest writers have been rejected countless times? Let's name a few, shall we?
- Agatha Christie, five years of continual rejection, until she finally landed a publishing deal. Her book sales are now in excess of $2 billion.
- J.K Rowling, received 12 publishing rejections in a row, until the eight-year-old daughter of an editor from Bloomsbury demanded to read the rest of the book. Because of that, the editor decided to publish but advised Rowling to get a day job since she had little chance of making money in children's books. $850 million sales later...
- Margaret Mitchel, received 38 rejections before finding a publisher to debut Gone With The Wind.
- Jerry Kosinski, used a pen name to submit his bestseller Steps to 13 literary agents and 14 publishers. All of them reject it, including Random House, who had it published. He did this to prove how hard it is for new writers to break in the business.
- Frank Herbert, had 23 rejections before finally finding a home for his best selling science fiction novel of all time, Dune.
I could go on and on, but by now I'm sure you can see the pattern. Despite the rejections, these writers continued to push forward and not give up. Even if it took longer than expected, they all managed to find a home for their novel.
This leads me to why I'm writing this entry. In 2012, I completed a 91k YA novel. Back then I didn't realize that my word count was way too high. Quite frankly, I was very pleased with myself. I had managed to complete a full length novel! I started to work on my query, but needed help. I searched the boards on AgentQuery, and had a few people help me. After some time I decided to send out my query. My number one mistake was not having multiple pairs of eyes beta read/critique/edit my manuscript. Through my quest for literary agents I gathered a list of 30 agents. One by one I started to send my query out. Can you guess what happened next?
The rejections began falling in over the course of that year. Some even the following year. I felt defeated and couldn't understand why. After a few years went by, I decided to go back and reread that manuscript and it was AWFUL.
Since then I've improved my writing skills. I've typed a few novels since then. Some will never see the day of light, while others have had ideas/title/character names recycled, or I completed revised the story. I finished a novella in 2015, Nightmare Chronicles and a full-length novel this year, Hell Hounds. Learning from my mistakes from 2012, I've had multiple people beta/edit Hell Hounds. When I felt it was ready, I started getting my query together. Then Oct 5th rolled around and it was #DVpit day for YA writers.
I did receive some likes from agents and sent them my requested material. Not only did I send out queries to the agents from DVpit day, but other agents that weren't apart of that Twitter pitching party. In total, I believe I sent out 20 queries. So far, 3 rejections from DVpit agents, and 3 from the non-DVpit.
It was disheartening to see, but I'm still waiting on more responses and keeping my spirits high.
I will admit there are a couple of agents that I have queried that I have high hopes for. Even to just ask for a full request would make my day.
But for now I'm crossing my fingers and not giving up! On October 22nd there will be another contest called, P2P16. It's where writers are paired off with editors that help edit their manuscript and even help with your query. I plan on entering this mini-contest and hoping that I'm chosen by one of the editors that I choose. Writers send their queries to 5 editors of their choice, and the editors will choose only one winner (sometimes two, but I believe this may be rare.) I already have my eye on two editors and I'm very anxious for this upcoming Saturday!
I feel that maybe what my novel needs is another round of editing and definitely a polished query. Hell Hounds is a project I started back in 2014. That's the year the idea first came to me and it has been revised dozen of times since then. I have no problem with shaking things up a bit to make a strong manuscript. Currently the novel is a dual POV...I've thought about removing one POV to focus on the stronger one, which the plot is driven from. However, the other character develops a close relationship with a particular character, and I would like readers to see it. Yet, I'm not entirely sure.
Back to the main course of this entry: rejection. I've faced it countless of times and have given up writing some stories because of it. This time around, I'm learning not to let rejection get me down and continue to push myself forward. And to everyone else out there reading this, don't let any form of rejection get you down! Keep moving forward and if you believe in your work, there will be someone else out there (literary agent, publisher, editor etc) that will believe in your work too!
|As Naruto always says, Believe it!!|