Rejection Row

There’s a narrow street called Rejection Row that leads to a lane that is lined with agent offices. This lane leads to Editor Street that when followed one eventually finds themselves on Publishers Boulevard. Far off into the horizon is Bookstore Expressway. Some writers veer off toward Self-publishers Highway. If a writer doesn’t allow themselves to be distracted by the multiple turn-offs that seem to pop out of alleys and dead end streets then there is the great possibility of reaching one’s destination.

There’s a book I toted that recounted tales of many successful authors who received multiple rejections during their early years. Some writers have said that they papered their walls with rejection letters. Others shared they’ve been asked to have their books published with a previously desired company, once they sold 750, 000 copies via the self publishing route. All that write these stories have pretty much withheld the “How ya like me now?” way of dealing with these circumstances.

I received an email inviting me to a writers’ pitch conference I had gone to two years in a row. After sitting with more experienced writers’ who helped me hone my pitch, I delivered it and was honored to have several well- known editors ask for my first fifteen pages. There were a couple of agents who asked for my pages too. To make a long story short, none accepted my novel.

NY writers perfect pitch
NY writers workshop perfect pitch conference

The important parts about the pitch conference were agent interactions. One agent asked me to change the format because she was interested. She became disinterested once I changed it. Another one sent me in-depth questions about my protagonist’s motives. I worked hard on that one and resubmitted it to her. About four months later she called me to say she ultimately decided to pass. This rejection didn’t smart so much because another editor had accepted my manuscript two days before she emailed me.

What’s more important about particular rejections is that individuals took time to contact me and made suggestions about what might work to enhance my writing. Thank heavens they did, since so many others have not answered at all. And still yet, another important concept is that I took suggestions without guarantees but intuitively allowed myself to let go and be guided by experts. Of course, I’m not working with them but they gave me valuable information. I received keys to the car from them and directions on how best to get to Bookstore Expressway. There were some detours on the path but I will soon reach my destination. Then it’s on to Marketer’s Road…