Rejection as Part of the Process

Posted on July 28, 2014

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img_0359As a writer, you may have already experienced your fair share of rejection. Though certainly not the desirable outcome, it’s something you have to take while running—and understand it means almost absolutely nothing.

When I say “almost”, I’m implying that perhaps a publisher has caught on to a genuine flaw in your work. This can range from poor research to major plot issues in a manuscript. In such cases, it’s best to make use of that positive criticism and learn from it.

In many other instances though, a writer would do well to remember that his or her manuscripts are being evaluated by publishers looking for specific kinds of submissions; selections are even subject to a publisher’s particular tastes. With this in mind, writers should never let rejection deter them. Continue doggedly submitting your work, until just the right publisher gets a hold of your manuscript—and recognizes all its glorious potential.

Below you will find a list of authors who refused to be discouraged and whom, thankfully, we can draw inspiration from today:

  1. Michelle Kerns’ article from examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/article/30-famous-authors-whose-works-were-rejected-repeatedly-and-sometimes-rudely-by-publishers) reveals that Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was rejected repeatedly. One publisher even told him, “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.”
  2. James Joyce, one of the most significant writers on the scene during the 20th century, faced 22 rejections before his collection of short stories, Dubliners, was granted publication (http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/arts/literature/14-best-selling-books-repeatedly-rejected-by-publishers.htm).
  3. Twenty-six publishers refused Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. One published, the book would go on to win the 1963 Newbery Medal (http://www.literaryrejections.com/best-sellers-initially-rejected/).
  4. Concerning The Diary of Anne Frank, one publisher stated, “The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.” Fifteen other publishers also rejected the diary.
  5. Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance did not achieve publication until after it was turned down 121 times. The editor who did finally publish the book said, “It forced me to decide what I was in publishing for.”

Every writer will face rejection, and every writer will have to swallow that same bitter pill. But, as those referenced above have hopefully shown, rejection doesn’t mean you are not a writer. If anything, that growing stack of rejection slips should be a testament to how much you believe in yourself.     

Chelsey Edwards, Writer and Editor, Asta Publications

http://www.astapublications.com

Asta Publications has a long history of helping writers tell their stories and get published. Since 2004, Asta Publications has helped hundreds of authors bring their book concepts to life and we are ready to help you too! Our dedication to our authors is unmatched. We deliver first-class products and services that are accurate, high quality, and exceed our authors’ expectations.

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Posted in: Publishing