There are times in life when we need to not give up, and continue pressing on no matter how rough it gets.
Then there are times in life when we need to stop beating the proverbial dead horse and admit that it’s just not working.
Wisdom is being able to discern between the two.
If the manuscript you’ve been submitting to publishers keeps getting rejected over and over and over, it’s time to take an honest, objective look at it.
There are 2 main reasons why an editor rejects a manuscript:
- It’s good, but …
- they’ve got all their titles lined up for that year
- it doesn’t fit in with their genres
- there’s no budget for another title at that time
- It’s bad, because …
- it’s poorly written
- it’s full grammatical and spelling mistakes
- it wasn’t submitted correctly according to the publisher’s guidelines
Editors are busy people, so 9 out of 10 times, you won’t know why your manuscript was rejected. You’ll just get the standard rejection letter they send to everyone.
If an editor takes the time to comment about why you got rejected, heads up! That is priceless information!
If they liked it, but simply can’t take on the project at that time, they’re telling you that you’ve got a good manuscript and keep sending it out!
If they liked the general story or idea, but sloppy grammar or poor writing killed it, DO NOT send it anywhere else until you’ve got it corrected.
This is where technology can again come to your rescue …
Even though writing – and creating in general – is an isolated activity, you will learn and grow best in your craft in community with other writers. You may not be able to just step out of your front door and find 10 or 20 other writers, but guess where you can find them … online!
In-person classes and critique groups are always best, of course, but in our post-covid world, online opportunities are not a terrible option. They are, in fact, terrific options, because you are unlimited in the reach you’ll have beyond time and distance restrictions. And they are often more affordable and even free, because they don’t have to secure venues for large groups of people.
Most creatives are well aware and take great advantage of all the postings that other creatives put online.
The “surprised” writers and creatives, who are just discovering their buried talents, are going to love finding out about all of the resources available right at their fingertips.
There is no shortage of people from any walk of life who get online and show you how they do what they do, and writers and writing is no different. Other writers and creatives who love what they do, are thrilled to be able to get online and show us how they went about it, and what problems they encountered and how they overcame those problems.
And it will only take once of sitting in on a Zoom meeting and listening to other writers swapping ideas and critiquing each other’s writing to see what a valuable resource it is … and it’s as close as your phone or computer!
This is why we’re seeing so many authors today going the self-publishing route. That’s a much more viable option today than in the past. And it can be a lucrative option, but it’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone.
The biggest gotcha’ I see for self publishers is their ability to be brutally and objectively honest with themselves about the quality of their own work. There are valid reasons why editors at the traditional publishing houses rejected their submissions.
If a publishing professional wasn’t willing to invest their time, money and resources into your project, should you be so eager to invest your own?
If you go the self publishing route, please be wise with your resources and be willing to admit it if it turns out that you have an ugly baby.
Ugly babies are totally fixable, and you have all the resources you need right at your fingertips to make your baby beautiful and successful!