With shaking fingers and a hopeful heart you click open the email. It's not been a long wait, three, maybe four, five, six months – still the wait is behind you now. This is the publisher who is bound to be the one that says, “We would like to publish your novel. Contract on it's way.”
But it isn't.
It says curtly, highhandedly, no room for hope, thanks, but no thanks. The email falls short of actually saying – 'sod off', but only just.
Tears well up in your eyes. You say, “Fuck it.” As you brush your tears away – I don't think. What you really do is collapse in a shapeless heap of misery, and bawl your eyes out.
Have you finished crying? Good.
Bawling done – it is now time to pull yourself together, and hit the bottle.
Does the genre you write determine your choice of booze?
Here's a helpful list, if you are not sure which form of this particular pain-killer you should go for.
Horror writers --- Bourbon, Sour mash whiskey, any type of hard liquor. Theirs is a tough genre, it calls for tough drinking.
Romantic types --- Champagne or Cava, depending on cash-flow.
Sci Fi geeks --- Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. What else?
Paranormal --- Red wine. Think of vampires.
Erotica --- Cocktails. It takes all sorts!
Comedy --- coffee. Why not alcohol? A caffeine life is a happy one. No caffeine – then – 'die you bastards.' - is not the attitude you should have if you want to make people laugh.
Of course, you could be teetotal – but if you are a writer, I doubt it.
Ex-smokers, who haven't smoked, in heavens knows when, should not start searching down the back of the couch for that long lost packet of of 20. Chew your finger nails, looks nasty, but not so dangerous to your health.
Don't over look the therapeutic properties of good old fashioned – sex. Shag 'till exhaustion sends you to sleep, thus blotting out the misery of rejection, only works it you have someone to do it with, unless you are a gadget freak.
Of course, all of the above may not necessarily appeal. So here's some alternative suggestions.
Think on this. Some of the most successful authors of all time, have experienced multiple rejections from agents, and publishers alike.
With a wonderful twist of irony, how stupid must the agents and publishers feel, who rejected J. K. Rowling?
All that lovely commission having slipped through their fingers.
Life is full of disappointments. Some small. Some not so small. Disappointments are one of the many hard facts in life we have to put up with. Get used to them. You won't every stop being disappointed as you weave your way to your final chapter, but you can lessen the blow with a positive attitude of mind.
Tell yourself, if agents and publishers can reject mega successful authors like Stephen King, and J. K. Rowling, they obviously don't always get it right. And in your case, they have definitely got it wrong.
If your rejection isn't just a short note, but an editor has taken the trouble to give you the benefit of his/her wisdom, read it – digest it - because often the reason you will get an editor commentating, is, they like your writing style, and think you show promise. Editors don't wast their time on no hopers.
An editor gives out advice for one reason, they think you and your book or any future books you might write, could suit their publishing house, once you have listened to them, and acted on their advice.
Take heart. Basically – they like you. Would like to publish you.
If it is a curt rejection you get, remember Stephen King and J. K. Rowling. Pick yourself up, dust yourself down, and send your MS to another publisher, giving it one more read through before you do.
But if you really hate the idea of being rejected again – love 'em or hate 'em, thanks to companies like Amazon, it is now much easier to self-publish your book. As is typical of human enterprise, a whole new industry has sprung up.
The Indie Industry.
Professional proof readers, editors, book cover designers, and agencies where you can buy an ISBN number from, are only a Google click away.
Some Indie authors, have landed solid book contracts from publishing houses. If your book sells well because you have gone to the trouble to present it in a professional format, then being noticed by the 'big boys' becomes easier.
All editor's opinions are subjective. If it's a curt note. Delete it with a 'yaboo sucks to you' attitude – remembering the mega greats who also got rejected.
If the email has good advice, act on it.
But if there is one thing you should take heart from when you get a rejection slip/email. Your sense of self-belief.
Deep in your soul, you know you are going to become a published author. You must never let go of knowing you can achieve your dream.
If you can sit at a keyboard for weeks or months on end, diligently creating your imagination into a book, then you have truly succeeded, no matter what someone else says. Your work maybe rough around the edges, your story may not appeal to everyone who reads it, but you did it.
You wrote your story. You sent it off to a publisher.
So say to yourself, fuck the publisher who doesn't like what you have written, revise your MS one more time, click on Predators and Editors, and find that publisher who has the foresight to take a chance on you.
thanks for reading this post...and if you enjoy my articles – please share them --
The Riotous Writer
More of my books – through my American publisher.
When a boy ghost meets a girl human in a hot-tub. Romance - Yes. Sex - Definitely.
Vampires - not the undead - aliens from another galaxy.
reject picture by courtesy of digital art at FreedigitalPhotos.net