‘Rejection’ is a somewhat ugly word and none of us likes to hear it - especially authors who dream of being published. Quite often, it takes many pitches, plenty of persistence and also, time, before an agent sees potential in a manuscript and it then becomes published.
Few authors, including famous ones, had their ‘big break’ straight away. J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, famously received many rejections before someone believed in her manuscript. I was also writing and pitching for a long time, and eventually, after winning a writing competition, I had my break-through.
I, therefore, know how disheartening it can be to receive another ‘no thanks,’ but I believe you can change your mindset: here are five positive points about receiving rejections.
- A rejection means someone read your work! As a writer that is what you want: a reader.
- Rejections are subjective, but if you receive many, that probably means your book isn’t ready for the public and needs more work. So, isn’t it good that you didn’t publish it prematurely? Take the feedback into account and edit. Remember, all good things take time.
- Receiving rejections thickens your skin and you will need that when you’re published. Everyone will have an opinion about your work! The majority of people will love your novel (hopefully!) and will write positive reviews about it, but there will be some that don’t. After spending many months, or even years, writing your book (not to mention the work of marketing and promoting it), this can be upsetting. With a thick skin, you learn to focus on the positive reviews.
- Every rejection is a step closer to someone saying “YES, the world needs this book”. So, don’t feel beaten down by it. Celebrate it. You’re getting closer to finding the right person that will see the potential in you and your book. Also, if it took time for you to receive the rejection, perhaps they were really considering it but in the end, it didn’t go all the way? Once, I heard that a publishing team was divided up into two camps regarding a book I had written. Half of them loved it and wanted to publish it, and the other half didn’t, so they turned it down. I still felt encouraged by this. I was inching closer to my dream.
- Most importantly, if you receive rejections, it means you are sending out your work, rather than leaving it in a drawer. You’re brave enough to submit it and this is the first step to achieving your goals. Well done, you!
Always remember, persistence pays off. Wishing you the best of luck.
Jessica Jarlvi, Author of When I Wake Up and What Did I Do?
Keep up to date with Jessica Jarlvi: