I understand rejection. I get rejected too, remember. Believe it or not, not every single book I send out there for publication wins the prize. So I know very well what this feels like: In fact, everyone in publishing understands rejection. Writers get rejected by agents and editors. Agents get rejected by editors. Editors get rejected by publishers and sales forces. The salespeople get rejected too, and so on down the line. There are a few things I’ve never done after getting rejected, however.
I’ve never called an editor and argued over a rejection letter.
I’ve never told an editor that I deserve a critique. I assume if they didn’t like it . . . well, that’s enough of a reason for me. I don’t necessarily want an editor representing one of my authors if she’s less than enthusiastic.
I’ve never called an editor names, told an editor he or she has no taste, or hung up on anyone.
I’ve never accused an editor of asking for manuscripts from me so he or she can profit from the recycling (seriously, people!).
I realize that editors work hard. They must carefully make decisions about where their time is best spent. They look for reasons to reject most manuscripts, and it’s my job to try to make sure they don’t find any. They read at nights and on the weekends, and not at their desks with their feet up and a box of Godivas at their side. Reading time takes time away from family, friends, fun, and nonwork obligations. They need to prove to a whole range of people that their choices are worthwhile . . . and it’s my job to give them the ammunition they need.
Oh, wait, that’s what agents do, too!
Next time you get a rejection, please know that it’s not a personal statement, it’s a professional one. And act accordingly.
Thanks! We strive to make rejection as painless as possible. We know how you feel . . . really!