July 9, 2016

Rejections and Moving Forward

Like most people, I am not immune to rejection. Of course I want everyone to love me and accept me, but I also understand that this just isn’t realistic.

I’ve done only a handful of submitting with my first manuscript, and each time a rejection comes in, I can’t help but feel sad. It’s just natural. I’m still human. The nicer rejections are easier to stomach. The form ones, less so. The non-responses are kind of infuriating.

After dealing with a particularly nice rejection immediately followed by two form rejections, I decided to step back and evaluate what I really want for my manuscript. I want to have it published, but not under just any circumstances. Otherwise, it would already be available for download on Amazon with a boring cover made by your truly without getting the professional edit it deserves.

I want my novel to shine and be it’s very best. I want to feel proud when I tell all my friends and family, and every person I’ve ever known and will meet in the future if we’re being honest, to check out my book.

Originally I thought sending a submission to just one (big) publisher would do the job. Obviously they would love my novel and put it on bookshelves across the world. As I kept writing and also researching publishing, I learned how ludicrous this plan was.

Since I plan on continuing to write, I guessed that I had to get an agent who would help guide my career as a writer. Plus, an agent is required to be heard by the big publishers. It’s a win-win. Get a professional for me and a huge publisher for my first book. This was the best fit for my goals, right? My book would get a nice cover and a few passes by professional editors. Sure I would only get a minimal amount of money from each book sale, my agent taking a cut from that, but my book would get exposed to tons and tons of people because it would be in every bookstore nationwide. Right? Right?

In reality, I want to share my book, and with lots of people. I’d like them to be able to read it in ebook, paperback, and audio formats. I’m ready to jump into the nitty gritty of marketing and selling myself while also writing my next (hopefully bestseller) novel.

Obviously this means I should self publish. If I’m willing to get my hands dirty, I should just jump head first into the mire. The obvious pitfall with this plan is that I don’t have a team or the capital to do it right. I would need to find a trustworthy editor and cover artist, labor over formatting, and purchase my own ISBNs. It would be a lot of work and a lot of money for someone who’s never done this before. It’s all too much.

That’s why I originally wanted a partner. A person or group of people could help me navigate the world of publishing to ensure that my novel has the best chance of succeeding. Does this person have to be a literary agent? Not necessarily. There are all kinds of publishers out there other than the big five, and a lot of them are willing or even prefer to work directly with authors.

What I’m trying to say in so many words, is that even though I’ve gotten a few rejections now, I’m still putting myself and my book out there while also considering all the avenues which will help me reach my goal. I really hope to get this book published, but if in the end it doesn’t, my current work in progress will because it’s freaking awesome!

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