Monday, November 09, 2009

Monday Mentionables: Revisiting Rejection Letters

"Never, never, never give up!" ~Winston Churchill

Happy Monday! I FINALLY got around to sorting the piles of stuff in our office over the weekend - hooray! And as I was moving files from one file cabinet to another, I came across my folder of rejection letters. They're from both agents and editors/publishing houses, and I vowed always to keep them so I could remember how hard it was to get a contract and how many times I had to pick myself up from disappointment. As I was flipping through, I found some that made me smile, and I thought I'd share them with you:

Rejections for One Night in Boston

"I regret having to tell you that I've decided to pass on this. I wasn't convinced enough of being able to place this manuscript, considering the very tight and demanding conditions of the market."

"Thanks but because of your location, I suggest you would be better served by a NYC agent."

Rejections for One Night in Memphis (which went on to become an EPPIE finalist and earn 4 stars from Romantic Times)

"Unfortunately, we have problems with this story. [Our house's] contemporary romances are generally more light-hearted in tone than your novel."

"When it comes to contemporary romances, I am very picky about what I am looking for. I really want to feel a strong connection with the characters and to truly want to see them together. I also look for a story that has a strong purpose and sense of place. Unfortunately, I just did not see what I was looking for in this story."

"You are a good writer, but somehow the story did not strike the right chord with me."

Rejections for Lost in Paradise

"Unfortunately, I just did not fall in love with the story."

"I just was not enthusiastic about this story."

"As I conduct a legal practice in addition to my work as an agent, I am forced to be very selective in the literary projects I take on to represent. While I am eagerly looking for quality women's fiction, I ultimately concluded that your writing was not strong enough to make this a clearly marketable project."

***

Then I went through my folder of "Fan Mail" and pulled out 2 emails at random:

"Just finished reading 'One Night in Boston' last night, well this morning at 1:10 am. It was great and I couldn't put it down! I can't wait to order 'One Night in Memphis' and 'Lost in Paradise'!"

"I just read your first two books and loved them both! You have amazing characters, gripping plots, a fantastic vocabulary, and fresh comparisons. I just had to drop you a note to let you know."

***

Sooo...don't ever give up! One person's rejection is simply that: one person's. The next letter (or email) may be the one you've been waiting for, the one with the wonderful news that says, "I am happy to offer you a contract for..."

2 comments:

Diane Craver said...

I'm glad you didn't give up - I love all your books - it's great you found the right publishers!

I've gotten this comment a lot, too: "I just did not fall in love with the story." :)

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Although my novel is only half way complete, I am already dreading the publishing process. I must really, really love the craft to be setting myself up for so much rejection.

Your post helps put it all in perspective. You only fail when you stop trying. Congrats on your success, you've obviously earned it:)