Was It Good For You? Making the Most of Rejection--Part Two
If you have received a rejection with detailed reasons for the rejection but with no invitation to resubmit, you've received a prize. The fact that an editor took the time to send you details means that your manuscript has some merit in that person's eyes. In addition, you have been given valuable information that you can use in this book and in subsequent books.
You may simply accept the knowledge that you have made a professional contact, set the rejection aside and send that editor your new and improved next book (be sure to thank her for her time and her critique.) Or you might decide to make changes based on that editor's suggestions just to see how they work for you, for the instructional value. You might also make those changes and then send a polite letter to the editor informing her that you have taken her suggestions to heart and improved the manuscript substantially. Thank her for her time and attention to your work and ask if she would be willing to look at it again.
The answer, of course, may be 'no,' but at the very least you will have learned something worthwhile from this experience, and in this situation you have also been given the opportunity to demonstrate to an editor that you are the type of flexible person she might be interested in working with at some future date. This is a chance to make an impression and to begin to build a relationship with an editor. Someday you may sell her a book. Begin to build your bridges now.
If your rejection, however, included an invitation to resubmit, sit back and ask yourself whether you feel comfortable making those changes. If you do, the next step is obviously to do the work and send it back right away. I personally am of the opinion that it would be wise for an inexperienced writer in today's tight market to simply knuckle under and make the changes. Sales are made this way every day.
However, if that does not feel like an option to you and if the editor has indicated a willingness to discuss the matter, try suggesting alternate solutions to the problems at hand. Then complete the work and resubmit in as timely a fashion as possible. Grasp this opportunity with both hands, for while it may feel like a kick in the pants, this kind of rejection is encouragement of the greatest kind. It indicates a willingness to "buy" your book if you can revise it to the editor's satisfaction. That is not just rejection. It is praise. This is the jackpot in disguise.
So, all right, you've taken the time to grieve. You've examined your individual situation and dealt with the job that had to be done. Now it's time for the next step.
Sit down and brainstorm your next three of four books. Call your writing friends and talk shop. Go out and buy some new office supplies (nothing gets my writer's blood flowing like new little office gadgets.). Begin the first chapter of the next project. Think like a pro, act like a pro, feel like a pro. You are one. You've faced the ugly but inevitable specter of rejection and you have wrestled a smidgen of success from the experience. You've fallen off the cliff, but today you know you're going to climb a mountain. You are, after all, a writer, and falling off cliffs as well as climbing mountains is just what being a writer is all about.
Myrna Mackenzie, winner of the Holt Medallion Award honoring outstanding literary talent, is a former teacher turned writer. Her first professional foray into the writing arena was in the form of penning greeting card verse, primarily for Oatmeal Studios, but she always knew that her real goal was to publish a romance. In 1993, she finally achieved that goal when her first book, THE BABY WISH, sold to Silhouette Books. It was originally published in 1994, was a finalist in both the HOLT and Reader’s Choice contests, and was reissued in 1999 in a hardcover version by Mills & Boon. Subsequent hardcover editions have followed for PRINCE CHARMING’S RETURN and BABIES AND A BLUE-EYED MAN.
Her second book, THE DADDY LIST, won the Holt Medallion. Since then, she has gone on to sell twelve more books. Her books have sold worldwide and have been translated into French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Greek, Japanese, German, Hungarian, Czech and Portuguese.
PRETENDING – part of the Montana Maverick series – a four book direct
mail series published in October 2000 – still available by contacting customer
service at www.eHarlequin.com
THE BILLIONAIRE IS BACK – Silhouette Romance – May 2001
BRIDE – Silhouette Romance – June 2001
A VERY SPECIAL DELIVERY – Silhouette Romance – October 2001 (part of a 3 book Maitland Maternity spin-off )
Visit Myrna's web site at: www.myrnamackenzie.com
Copyright 1996, M. Mackenzie
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