Managing rejection

I’m taking the plunge and putting some work out there. Publishing is the goal for me.  I’m looking for a nibble from either an agent or a publisher. I’d be happy with either, as the immediate aim is to move my work up to the next level. Let’s face facts: writers write, but authors publish.

In order to improve my chances, I recently attended a ‘how to pitch’ workshop with Writers Victoria (a really useful day!). I’ve also been reading any and all, articles and blogs from publishers, agents and other writers to glean what I can from their experiences.

As part of the process I have:

  • rewritten my pitch
  • prepared a nifty synopsis
  • updated my author bio
  • double checked my manuscript to make sure that it is at submission standard
  • made a list of places to apply to
  • checked their websites to determine what their individual requirements are
  • found out to whom to address my inquiry (check websites, annual reports and more importantly look at the ‘acknowledgement’ sections in similar books, you’ll find the publishing team members included)
  • drafted a cover letter/email
  • sent off three inquiries

Results so far: Two rejections. One outstanding. Sounds like a downer. But these have been different from previous rejections. Instead of standardised emails (or nothing at all), I’m receiving personalised ones – including one with actual advice (really!).

What next?

  • Keep checking and re-checking my application materials
  • Apply to another set of businesses
  • Remember that the rejection is not a rejection of my writing (I have enough independent feedback now to know that my writing is of industry standard)
  • Monitor the feedback – it may be a case of industry folk not being able to sell my work, at this point in time
  • Don’t give up!