"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..."