Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Writers Wednesday -- Let's talk about the dreaded rejection letter.

No writer, whether you've published one book or dozens, escapes the experience. It's true that you may not receive the sad news in print. Many publishers have adopted the policy of not responding at all unless they are interested in your project. Never-the-less once the deadline they allow themselves comes and goes in silence, the hopeful may assume the worst and the rejection is every bit as genuine as if it arrived on letterhead.

As a reminder we're all in this boat together, take a look at the course Dan Gutman navigated on his way to the publication of Honus and Me (which was not only a publishing success and the beginning of a popular series, but was also made into a TV movie). Be sure to read all the way to the end of the post. You'll find some great food for thought.

Writing isn't for the faint of heart. One of my rejection letters, which I treasure and share with audiences at workshops and presentations, reminded me that the publishing house that was passing on The Gingerbread Cowboy received 20,000 submissions a year and only published 20 books.

My story had a one in one thousand chance. Those odds are a good thing to keep in mind in this business of ups and downs. A few rejections later and my editor at HarperCollins was on the phone asking if I was interested in having them take on the project. The rest is history.

Now for a light-hearted look at the subject, check out this great parody by Kris Kahrs of a rejection letter to Herman Melville from his British publisher regarding Moby Dick at Pen and Ink.

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The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer