Straight Talk For Less than 50 Cents
Every writer struggles to understand rejection. You have a brilliant idea and craft a query letter or a book proposal. Then you come up with a list of possible book publishers and submit your material. Then you wait (some times months) for an answer—which comes from the editor. And it’s a form letter with nothing personal and no insight for you to improve on the next submission.
I completely understand the unfair nature of a form rejection letter. I dislike sending these form letters but as an editor, I have little choice. It’s not my responsibility to critique the writer’s work or tell them why I returned their work. Also there are simply not enough hours in the day to accomplish even a brief specialized note to these authors. Since January, I’ve rejected over 350 submissions with my part-time editor role. You can assume the volume of submissions is even higher many other places. You want to manage your own expectations about receiving any details from the editor about the reason for the rejection letter. I continue to receive rejection letters for my own submissions—often form letters. Now many writers will resist seeing the rejection letters. If they have a literary agent, they feel like they don’t need to see these letters. It’s not true in my view. If I work with a literary agent, I encourage that agent to send me the rejection letters. Why? Then I know my materials are being submitted—and processed through the publishing houses. It’s frustrating to ask an agent about your book proposal and hear, “I showed it all around and everyone passed.” Who is “everyone?” The rejection letters give validity that the agent is indeed working for you. I’ve dissolved my relationship with agents who don’t send rejection letters when I’m one of their clients. It’s something else to consider in your own relationship with a literary agent.
Out of my own frustration about not being able to respond to writers and give them reasons, I wrote Straight Talk from the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection Proof-Submission. This new Amazon Short gives six keys why book ideas are rejected, six keys to guarantee rejection and six keys to gain the editor’s attention. Now you know how I came up with 18 keys in this original piece. I could have used this article in many other ways. It could have appeared as a magazine article or as the first chapter of a new book project. Instead, I sent it to Amazon.com for their Amazon Short program. It’s not free but at 49 cents, it’s certainly affordable for every person and you receive it instantly as a PDF download.
It’s part of my ongoing commitment to educate writers and help them understand how to improve their submissions and distinguish their submissions from others. I hope you will check out Straight Talk from the Editor, give it a Five Star Review on Amazon—and tell all your writer friends about it. My greatest hope is for you to study these words and apply them to your writing life. We need more writers who understand the process and can give editors what they need. It’s the editor’s hope for each email and each package. When the rejections pile up, it’s easy to grow discouraged.
Every editor and every literary agent that I know is actively looking. The key is giving them the right project at the right time at the right place.