Being rejected by an agent or publisher can be par for the course when you’re a writer. Although you know in your head that you’re more likely to be rejected than accepted, it usually can’t stop your inner monologue. Why did they tell me no? Should I give up writing completely? Why can’t they see the sheer genius on the page?
Well, don’t break out the booze and tissues just yet. Writers today have plenty of ways to get over the heartbreak of having their manuscript rejected.
Learn from the Experience
Due to the high number of submissions, agents and publishers tend to use form rejection letters. However, a few editors may take the time to offer feedback with their rejection letter. Use these suggestions to improve your manuscript. Resubmit with a note letting the editor know you’ve made the requested changes and ask if they would be willing to give it a second look.
You could be just sending your work to the wrong agents and publishers. Find agent and publisher contact information through sites like Agent Query and Preditors and Editors. Check the websites of the contact to see their submission requirements. If your manuscript doesn’t meet these requirements, it will automatically end up in the slush pile.
Make a Plan B
Going indie is tres hip these days. Many of writers are starting out through small publishers or self-publishing and finding plenty of success. If you have a good book and a marketing plan, you can do really well on your own. Also, for subsequent novels, publishers and agents will take notice if you were able to move a decent amount of copies on your own.
Whatever you do, don’t stop writing! Writing should be fun and you don’t want bad feelings associated with something you love doing. Just focus on the work and tune out any negative influences.