Friday, August 9, 2019

Why So Many Authors Get So Many Rejections

I was working through submissions a couple of days ago and found myself rejecting a lot of people. No, it was not because I was in a bad move. The issue stemmed from the things these authors were doing, or should I say, not doing. What was also interesting were the number of authors who this was the third and fourth rejection from me.

Let me first of all say, rejections are the nature of this business. In simple terms, there are more of you than places to be published or readers out there. It is all an issue of supply and demand. To get to the top you have to be beyond amazing and have something truly unique. With that said, there are also authors who are getting rejections, not because of their writing.

One of the first issues comes from not learning your lesson the first time. In the case of one of the authors I rejected, this was his fourth time submitting projects to me. Each and every time, the projects were not genres I acquired. First of all, he needed to do his research, visit the website and see if his project was even something I wanted. Did he do that? No. Secondly, after receiving the first email stating this was a genre I did not represent, he should have gone to the website (yes I provide a link in my email so he can do that) review the guidelines and learn. Did he do that? No. In fact, the latest project was one I had already rejected back in February, so he got a second rejection for the same story. But here is the kicker... within 20 minutes of my sending that rejections, again stating it was a genre I did not represent, he fired off a new project (same form letter but just a different title) of another project that was something I do not acquire.

Clearly not a fast learner.

Another problem comes from authors not taking the information they receive in the rejection and growing. If you get a rejection and the person says they through the story was episodic, or the writing lacked a flow, or something like that, then look at your next project and fix that. The odds are, this is a bad habit you have and you are likely doing the same thing in manuscript number two. Again, I have several authors who have sent me several projects over the years and each project makes the same mistakes. If you sign with a publisher they want to see you grow as a writer and adjust your writing. Doing the same thing over and over again is not going to get you the results you want.

So what if the story is just "not right?" There are a lot of times I pass on a project simply because the voice is not something that connects with me. Yes, this is purely subjective. Now what do you do? This is the time to get out there, do some research, follow that person on social media and get a feel for their likes and dislikes. Again, we are out there a lot on social media. There are ways to "get to know" those editors and agents.

This is not an issue of just throwing your story out there in the hopes something will stick. This is sales an you have to do your market research.

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