Monday, April 22, 2013


If last week's topic was frustrating, this week's topic is downright discouraging.

Rejections are also part of this business, one I had to learn to handle. When my very first book was returned with that nice letter I mentioned originally, I was devastated. My year's work - rejected. They didn't want it. I had a hard time not shedding a few tears.

I never stopped to ask why, nor think it could possibly be my fault. Nay! They didn't see talent when it hit them in the face.

After I calmed down, I took another look at what I've done. Could there have been a reason they didn't want my book? Slowly, I realized I didn't know enought about what I was analyzing to make a proper judgement. So, I tramped over to the local book store and started buying how-to books. It didn't take long to figure out I had an awful lot to learn. More books, magazines, classes, by mail and at a local college, were part of my new writing routine. In the two years that followed, I learned, I wrote, I submitted and I kept getting rejected.

Finally, the call came. They wanted not one, but the three books I had written so far. Devastation turned to elation.

Since then, oh, yes, I've been rejected. Time and time again. Wrong timing, wrong story line, the line I was submitting to was being dropped, the editor was having a a bad day.

However, I've learned a couple of important points in analyzing rejections.

Read them carefully. If two or more editors find fault with the same problem/s i.e. point of view, story line, grammer mistakes, inconsistent motivation, maybe you should take a look at your manuscript.

If it's a form letter (and that's usually what you'll get) don't send a scathing letter off to the editor. It will mark you forever in the business. Don't rewrite the manuscript - yet. Take another look. Ask someone you know (not a close friend or relative) to read your story. I asked my lawyer, who I knew read romances, if she'd read my second book. She was going on vacation and took it with her. Her comments were invaluable.

And study the business. I failed to do that. If I had taken the time to see what was selling and what was in a downward spiral I would have noticed the gothics I'd started to write were no longer being published. I missed the boat there.

One other important point. Write what you are comfortable writing. The genre may be hot today, cold tomorrow and hot again next week, or in a month or a year. Historical romance and various time periods and locations come and go so you must know the business. But it's your book, your genre, your work. So write what you want to write and keep writing.

I guess the best advice I can give is rejection happens, it hurts, but it's part of the business. As one of my kids would say - "suck it up" and start in on another project.

Next week - what I don't know about contracts.

Heart-warming Romance with a Sensual Touch
"BETRAYED BRIDE" coming in May from Champagne Books
And in August - "Lynbrook's Lady" - a Regency Period Historical Romance

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