Every writer has experienced it–rejection. Back in November, I received a rejection regarding my epic fantasy novel, tentatively titled Winter Ever After. I sent the query to Roc back in early May, and while they’re website says that they’ll get back to you in four months, it took them six and a half, which honestly isn’t unreasonable. I was surprised to even hear back from them in the first place.
The first rejection I ever received was from The New Yorker. I wish I still had the email. I remember receiving it and just being excited that they took the time to read the poem(s) that I had submitted. The editors of the freaking NEW YORKER read my stuff–they might not have like it, but it got read, and they were still nice enough to send a rejection instead of just ignoring it.
I don’t let rejections get me down. I know have I have good story, and with the assistance of an outside editor, it would be a good book. I know a lot of writers get discouraged by rejections, but I see things a little differently. Perhaps because I am an editor myself and I work in publishing, I’m more desensitized. About four times a year, I have to sit down and write rejections to authors who have submitted proposals to the small university press that I work for. I take no joy in the process, but it is necessary. We can’t publish everything we receive. Publishers aren’t necessarily looking at a query, proposal, manuscript, or etc and going “Why this is CRAP! I can’t believe someone took the time to create this piece of garbage!” Generally the process is more like, “This isn’t exactly what we’re looking for at this time.” Or, “This is an okay story, but we have just been flooded with so many requests, that we can only pick a few this time.”
My rejection from Roc, while disappointing, wasn’t soul crushing. The rejection itself is very similar to the ones that I send out, even down to the impersonal signature of “The Editoral Staff.” Below, I’ve posted my rejection for all the world to see because I hope that it will encourage other writers.
Don’t give up.
Everyone gets rejections.
Don’t get discouraged.
It’s nothing personal.
Just keep trying until you find the perfect fit.
Dear Ms. Loebick,
Thank you for submitting Winter Ever After to Ace / Roc. I apologize for the delayed response, as you may imagine we have many queries to go through and not much time to go through them. I appreciate the opportunity to read your submission, but I’m sorry to say that in the current crowded market, this does not sound to me like a book that we can make into a success.
I do wish you the best of luck with other publishers, and thank you again for thinking of us.
Regrets and best wishes,
The Editorial Staff
Ace / Roc Science Fiction & Fantasy