I received my first-ever rejection letter this week. It was a form letter from Writer’s House, my first choice, and was not entirely unexpected. I can’t imagine too many writers are able to get a request for full on their first try.
I think a lot of people fear the rejection letter. Everyone wants their book to be the Next Big Thing, to show the world their wonderful story that If Only They Knew About would surely make it in this world. Rejection letters tend to be a blow to our pride after working so hard on our books. And a form letter? Did they even read it?!
Honestly, I was pretty excited to get my rejection letter. Maybe it’s just years in the film industry that has hardened my soul to such things. Whatever the case, I saw it as a sign of promise. I really would have loved to join the Writer’s House, and maybe I’ll resubmit to a specific agent in a couple months instead of writing a general query, but overall I see it as a sign that I’m actually doing something about my book instead of letting it rest.
Too often in the creative field, people spend their time talking about their ideas instead of acting on them. Even if a person does manage to go through the monumental effort of writing a novel, the task of actually publishing it can be like climbing Everest only to find out you were actually supposed to go up Olympus instead. So, a lot of books – perhaps even great ones! – sit in hard drives and desk drawers as their authors keep grumbling “Oh, I’m just perfecting my query. It’ll go out soon.”
Since receiving my letter, I’ve already submit to a few other agencies. I only wanted to hear back from WH first, and since it was snail mail, it took a little time. With a rejection letter, the door was opened saying “Ok. You’re free to go for the blitz now.” It’s actually a pretty nice feeling, submitting to several agencies now. I’m confident enough that at least one of them will ask for a full and that The Sky Thief will be published! If not through traditional means, then a last-ditch effort on Amazon, but it is in the stages of being released either way now.
Authors shouldn’t fear or get upset at rejection letters in my humble opinion. Take it as a sign that you’re actually working on something. It’s only a negative when it’s made into one.
Hell, I may frame mine. I’m immensely proud of it.
In other news, I may or may not have made another spec cover. It may or may not use Magic: the Gathering artwork that will have to be removed if I end up self-publishing and need a commercial license for cover art. But, it’s fun to play around with my new tablet and try to get a few more ideas out there to build the world of the Cloudkicker Trilogy.