So you’ve sat in front of your computer for hours and hours over weeks and months and creating something out of nothing, a story unlike anything else that is out there. You’ve polished it until it shines, you’ve had friends and strangers read it, and the feedback has been great. So what’s next?
Well now you have to sell it, but that is the easy part, right? I mean the hard part was putting in the hours every day sitting in front of a blank page and writing the darn thing. The writer’s block, the fear that the book is terrible, the certainty that the book is terrible. You went through it all, and now it’s time to cash in.
You put together a query letter that is the right balance of professional and fun, you check and double check the sample, and write a brilliant synopsis, and after doing your research you send it to an agent that will love it and wait… and wait… Then you see an email pop-up your heart pounds your hands shake as you go to open the message. It’s about to happen; you’re going to be published.
I’m sorry, Mr Dyer... Aw crap.
You check your submission and send it out again and again, and every email you get back starts the same way… I’m sorry.
It’s hard not to get down on yourself when you get rejection after rejection, but it happens to the best of us. Steven King, J.K. Rowling and Terry Pratchett all got hundreds of rejections before they finally found a home for their books.
To use a dating cliche, it’s not you; it’s me. There are all kinds of reasons a book will be rejected, and most of them have nothing to do with how good your book is.
All this to say if you’re out there getting rejected don’t give up. Keep querying and above all, keep writing. You didn’t write the book because you wanted to be rich. I mean, I hope not because statistically, you won’t be. You wrote it because you had to, you wrote it because you enjoy writing and even if it never finds a publisher you’ve done something amazing. You created something from nothing like some kind of kick-ass word God, and you’re an honest to goodness hero.
Chin up, keep fighting the good fight and above all else keep writing.