Friday, July 22, 2011

Ah, the Sweet Smell of Rejection...

"Thanks, but we don't believe the described book would be salable in today's extremely tough marketplace."

Can someone please remind me again why I do this? Christ...

Okay, shake it off.

I've been told it's bad form to bitch and whine at rejections; rejections are just part of the deal when you're a writer, that's very true. But there are two reasons I mention them, on occasion, in this public forum:

One: I need to vent, get it off my chest, before I can get back on that unruly horse and head out again.

Two: For other writers who are struggling to get noticed, to get read, to get agent-ed. You ain't alone, brothers and sisters.

When The Bastard Hand came out to positive reviews, there was a little part of me that thought "okay, first book out, doing well, should be much easier to get an agent for the next one." Ah, the naivety of the young writer... or middle-aged writer, whatever...

It doesn't really work that way, especially if you've chosen, by design, to write in a sub-genre that really doesn't have much commercial appeal. You know, like Noir fiction.

I will admit that, with each rejection I get, a little black cloud appears over my head and cute little lightning bolts zap me about the face and neck. That stormy weather ain't gonna change.

But... and here's the good part... the storm becomes shorter each time. In fact, it's cleared up dramatically just since I started writing this bit. I'm already feeling better. The sun is peeking out from behind the black cloud.

"... today's extremely tough marketplace..." Well, the marketplace is something I'll never understand and honestly it's not anything I'm interested in. I write what I write, and have to trust that, eventually, it will find its audience.

Okay. Done. Gonna get back to work on my next obscure masterpiece...


  1. That hurts. But it's about the marketplace. Not about the art. That novel probably has too much balls. Find it a home man, and by the time you're eighty, you will have sold 3 millions and have seen two film adaptations of it from different eras.

  2. ahem **coughs**

    Snubnose Press...:)

  3. Aw, such is life...stupid, stupid, stupid fucking life!!! I've never gotten used to it and I think I never will and I think every writer (even the big boys) feels exactly the same as you do

  4. I really appreciate the kind words, gentlemen, it means a great deal to me. Already feeling better about it...

  5. Don't do what I do and give up. I have two complete ms. that I sent to under ten agents each and then just gave up. I have heard recent stories of writers who sent ms. to fifty agents, found one and sold it to a publisher within weeks. Truly. I'm too old to play this game but you're not.

  6. I'd like to throw in a thought here. There are people who really love this genre of writing. And there are websites that cater to those - including selling electronic copies of books, instead of the paper/bound versions.

    While you might be shopping for an agent for the paper book world, what about looking for these sites for selling your electronic versions. I have websites that I go to multiple times a week to see the new books that might be coming out in the genre that *I* like. :D

  7. Absolutely true, Sharon. And thanks for the encouragement...
    Patti, I'm re-thinking my game plan, and wondering if, in this day and age, an agent is even relevant. Have you looked into the small press for your two manuscripts?

  8. Hi Heath,
    Keep at it - The Bastard Hand was brilliant - Noir with a bit of something extra. I'm with a small publisher who has the freedom to publish books he likes (ie he is the editor and the man in a suit making a decision) @nemesisbooks on Twitter.

    They haven't been going long and the only book out their is on cycling. My book and one by an Aussie girl are both Crime and dark. Come and join us :-) If you don't mind (cos I'm going to anyway) I'm going to send him a link to this site and tell him to start pestering you.

    I'm not being kind I'm being very selfish - I want to read the book.


  9. I'd like to say something positive, but since I'm just getting my foot in the door, all I can say is, "You and me both, brother."

  10. Thanks, Seth. I'm back on the horse, for sure. And I'll check out Nemesis!

  11. And thank you, Radio... it never gets easy, but we keep doin' it...

  12. You could always get breast implants and start buying Tan in a Can by the case. I hear it worked for Snooki.

    The right agent is out there somewhere. This is one less door you gotta knock on while you're looking for him/ her.

  13. Hi! Heath Lowrance...
    I'm not a writer or author...Therefore, I'm most definitely, outside Of the box when it comes to what authors feel like when a [or their] book(s)is rejected.

    However, with that being said, I do feel empathy toward writers whenever negative situations occur as they try to promote their books.

    By the way, I agree with author Pattinase [Abbott's] comment [When she say "Don't give up..."] and I also think that the Kindle is another form Of marketing tool that assist or help writers/authors get their books in the "public eye" too!

    Thanks, for sharing a very honest view about being a writer and rejection too.

    deedee ;-D

  14. Seconding all the encouragement above: Don't give up. And also: Don't second-guess. Remember Heinlein's Rules -- instead of rewriting because of rejection, write something new and send the rejected thing out again. Then you double your chances of success.

  15. "My names Andrew and I've had a manuscript rejected". I have an agent, he's sent it to 10 publishers. Five have said no, the rest we'll wait and see. Lots of them cite what the 'market' does and does not like. Really, it's all about individual choice/whim on their part. The hardest thing about being a writer who is trying to get a book out there is that no one will ever give you the same piece of feedback twice. It's infuriating and, like you say, you want to give up. You just gotta keep plugging away. At least that's what I tell myself. By the way, love the site. Keep up the good work.
    Andrew Nette

  16. Thanks for all the support, mates. Rejection is just part of the deal when you've chosen to do this writing gig, and normally I have a thicker skin than that. The day I wrote this, however, it had gotten to me a bit. No worries-- like AC/DC says, I'm back in the saddle again.