Forward: Deal with rejection if you ever want to publish your book through a traditional publisher. Dealing with the rejection is a hurdle all authors must face at least once in their career. This article has been written to let you know that you aren't alone as a fiction author and that this rejection happens regularly. Don't ever lose sight of your dreams of publishing your work because of a few negative letters from publishers.
by Jason Moser
You are finally ready to publish your first novel after years of writing, rewriting, and even more rewriting. The time has come to get that book published. You are now ready to send off your manuscript to some publishers, but are you really ready to deal with rejection in the near future?
You spend days getting your book into the correct format, draft up a query letter, and send the letter off to a hand full of publishers. Now you wait! In several weeks, you finally receive a few responses letting you know that they are interested in receiving your manuscript for possible a publishing contract. Your spirits are high as you package up your manuscript and mail it off to the interested publishers.
Weeks go by and nothing. You try everything you can think of to contain the excitement coursing through your body. Finally, a letter comes in the mail from one of the publishers. You tear it open as though it contains the key to your life. Your spirits and the letter both hit the floor at about the same time as you read the words, "We regret to inform you that we cannot accept your manuscript at this time."
The letter hurt, but you shake it off; a minor setback, but there are still a few more publishers who haven't responded yet. Every few days you receive another letter, each with the same dismal response.
Time and time again, new authors are shot down by a few publishers, their dreams destroyed in a few short sentences, and before they know it, they must face reality and deal with rejection head on. One time isn't too bad, but after three or four rejection letters, you start to question your own writing as your confidence dwindles down to nothing.
Skills in dealing with a negative response from a publisher are a must for new and inexperienced writers. You must prepare yourself mentally each time you submit a manuscript to a publisher. Keeping your confidence at an all time high is the only way to stay motivated as an author. Here's a few ways to help you deal with a rebuff of your work to get you through the certain feelings of inadequacy you may experience during the process of publishing your book.
1. Use self suggestion or autosuggestion to thwart the rejection attack. Write down a few positive and encouraging phrases regarding you and your writing. "I am a great writer!" "Anyone who rejects my book will be missing out on great things to come!"
Write down three of four similar phrases applicable to you. Now commit them to memory. Read them aloud in the morning immediately after you wake up. Read them aloud a few times throughout the day as well as right before you go to bed. The more you read them, the more confidence you will build in your subconscious mind and the less likely a negative letter will crush your dreams. This is a powerful tool suggested by Napoleon Hill in Think & Grow Rich.
2. Get an agent to handle the brunt of the attack and deal with rejection for you. Most agents don't cost a lot and never get paid until they land you a contract, so they can be your best friend and even better buffer. They handle interference between you and publishers, ensuring you maintain your confidence and continue pumping out your books while they press your book on publishers.
An agent's job is to find a good publisher to publish your fiction. They deal with all of the correspondence to and from the publishers and find the right publisher as quickly and painlessly as possible for you. You will never see a negative response, thus never feel that emotional strain upon your confidence.
3. Self-publishing is a great way to deal with rejection. If you are capable of formatting your own book, you can easily publish it yourself. There really isn't that much to it. It actually takes more time and effort to put your book in manuscript format than it does to format it for actual printing (this includes creating the cover and back page content and art).
The downside to self-publishing is the post publishing efforts may be more time consuming work for you; you also do not get some of the perks such as being published by a big name publisher. You do, however, save a lot of money, maximize your royalties, and never, ever get rejected by a publisher.
When you deal with rejection improperly, you may be subconsciously destroying your writing career. Don't take rejection letters personally. Writing and publishing is business. The publisher is mostly looking out for their own interests, and if you don't line up with their interests, you will get rejected. Just keep telling yourself that they are missing out on a lot of royalties if they don't publish your book.
Jason W. Moser is a self-published fiction and self-help book author and master online marketing specialist. He has published several self-help articles about fiction including Publishing - Deal With Rejection. Jason has retired from the Navy and now lives in Chesapeake, Virginia with his wife and two sons.