“It’s not you, it’s me.” You may have heard these words one time too many. Your eyes well up as you process this unexpected news of a break-up and you wonder what went wrong in your relationship with your soon to be “ex.”
Hearing these words almost seems like a cop out; escaping the gut-wrenching explanation of what was lacking in the relationship. In the publishing industry, the relationship exists between publisher and author. And the break-up comes in the form of a rejection letter. But the “it’s not you, it’s me” excuse may not be a bad thing.
As an author, you put effort into making sure your story has been critiqued, edited, reviewed, and perfected. You follow the submission guidelines to a tee. You study the publishing house and its back issues or book list. But no matter how hard you try to do everything right to make the relationship work, you still receive a rejection letter.
According to the Children’s Writer’s
June 4, 2009 eNews, published by The Institute of Children’s Literature, “rejection letters come to you because the project you just offered to sell isn’t what the editor wanted to buy.” Most of the time, editors are limited to a certain number of manuscripts that they can purchase or are looking for a specific genre. So, even if you’ve crafted a well-written story, followed the submission guidelines, and studied the market, you just may be out of luck. It’s all about whether or not your manuscript fits their need.
Don’t feel discouraged when you get a rejection letter. Even the best writers and the well-known authors get rejected. So, when you receive a rejection letter, find comfort in knowing that it could just be that “it’s them and not you.” Hold your head high and move on. Besides, there are other publishers in the sea.