I vividly remember the first rejection I received when I began to query my first book. Honestly, it was when I officially felt like a “real” writer – despite my telling my students over and over that being a writer simply means that you write. I wore that rejection like a badge of honor.
As the “no”s continued to drop into my inbox (or, as is more often the case, I simply never heard back and the timeline expired), it did sting a bit.
Ok, a lot.
Yes, it’s all part of the process. Yes, rationally, I understand that my manuscripts are not going to be for everyone (after all, I’ve not fallen in love with every book I’ve read in my life). But hearing no over and over can definitely make one question what they are doing.
Now, I lucked out with my first book. I was in the midst of querying agents when I participated in a pitch fest on Twitter, which is how I eventually signed a contract to publish the book. The process, though, afforded me five hard rejections and thirteen soft rejections (“if you don’t hear back from me in four/six/eight weeks, you can assume I’m passing”).
I am trying to keep this all in mind as I begin the query process on two manuscripts. I’ve already had my first rejection of the year for my YA novel, and I’ve only just begun.
For anyone who has stumbled onto this post and is just beginning the query process, remember – this is all about finding the right fit. You don’t want an agent/editor/publisher that isn’t going to be wild about your book – and not everyone will be. It can suck, it can hurt – just remember those books you’ve read that didn’t resonate with you – someone else out there loves it.
A couple resources if you are looking for agents/editors: