Completing a novel is a magnificent achievement. However, this is just the beginning of an often rocky journey as the writer endeavours to find a publisher or agent and is likely to face rejection letters.
Overcoming Rejection Letters
Emotional turmoil will often accompany the receipt of a rejection letter and the inexperienced writer might take it badly. Solace might be sought with the knowledge that the most successful writers have received them and is part and parcel of the business of writing novels. The only way to avoid the rejection letter is never to submit a novel.
Publishers' Submission Guidelines
Some rejection letters are arbitrary, as it might be a result of submitting the manuscript to the wrong publisher, for example by submitting a historical novel to an agent specialising in crime fiction. The Artist and Writer’s Yearbook is an invaluable resource for writers on submission guidelines and how to find the most suitable publisher for their work.
How to Submit Novels to Publishers
Most publishers and agents request the first three chapters with the author’s contact details and return postage. The wait will often be six weeks or even longer. Presentation is essential for first impressions. The obvious, such as typos and a dog-eared submission will not bode well for the writer and must be avoided.
Types of Rejection Letter
Strange as it might sound, there are different types of rejection letters.
As previously mentioned, a rejection letter might simply be a result of sending the work to the inappropriate publisher, or the submission guidelines have not been followed.
Some rejection letters are in standardised format and simply say a polite "no," but luck with the future. This is the most common type.
A rejection letter that offers any feedback is a good sign. The longer the rejection letter, the better, for agents and publishers are busy places and need not spend any time giving feedback. Taking the time to offer any advice shows some belief that the developing author has potential.
Everything you need to know about writing novels can be found within my online stores.
The Motivation to Write a Novel
Repeated rejections can be very disheartening for the writer and might often cause a crisis in the writer’s mind. The following pointers might be worth considering.
Developing as a Writer
The author might decide to abandon the project after receiving dozens of rejection letters. Regardless of the negative feelings caused, the following might be worth bearing in mind.
Finding a Publisher
There are more possibilities nowadays than there used to be. The Internet has opened up the stage for writers have yet to be discovered by the printed world, and it does happen that a writer who has struggled for years has been taken up by a publisher or an agent. Never give up hope.
Books giving advice on how to get published can be found on my online bookstore.
© Rachel Shirley