Sunday, 26 February 2012

Rejected Submissions - Some things to consider

The other day,  I received a nice thanks but no thanks from Jo Fletcher Books for my zombie novel. In the email it said that just because it wasn't for them didn't mean other publishers would feel the same way.

Your dog may share your sadness when you get a rejection.

At first I got upset, felt worthless, told myself nothing good would happen ever again.  Then I stopped mooching and thought 'hey, there's a blog post in this.'

 That brings me to my first point -

1. A publisher or agent saying 'no' is like someone expressing their opinion. Think of it that way and it doesn't seem so bad.

2. Before you send your manuscript have at least 6 other publishers/agents you can send it to. I did and I'm now working on a new submission package. Keep on updating that list.

3. Publishers & agents get deluged with submissions. There's a chance yours didn't get read. They simply don't have the time to read everybody's work.

4. Many fine books that have become classics were turned down by publishers time and time again, but their authors never gave up. Why should you?

5. Did you send it to the right person? Send a children's book to someone specialising in chick lit and off course you'll get a great big NO.

6. They might have a similar book planned/or on their books. Sometimes a rejection can be down to bad timing.

Note – Even if you do everything right you can still get a big fat NO.


  1. Great points to remember when you've the ms returned. What really annoys me though is when they make is obvious it hasn't even been read - you'd think they mess up the pages a little, wouldn't you? :(
    Onwards and upwards!

  2. Sensible checklist to have in place if you’re unlucky enough to get one of those big fat NOs you mentioned. And at least you have an empathetic dog to console you :)

  3. I'm sure most writers get far more NOs than YESs it's all part and parcel of the writing game, and after a time you get used to them, which makes the YES, when you get it, all that more sweet.

  4. I'm sure the writers who can paper their walls with refusals (Don't call them "rejections" - too emotive!) out-number those who hit lucky first time. Living abroad, I only send an SAE for a letter these days and say they can recycle my MS. They always came back scruffy which must be obvious to the next recipient.
    As for the "other publisher" remark - from someone who's had lots, that's standard. If you get a personal comment, even if scrawled at the bottom of a compliments slip, that's more positive.
    Good luck to us all, hey?


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