Below is an article written by Diana Flegal, from Hartline Literary Agency who happens to be my agent. She allowed me to share this post with you which was taken from her site and modified by me. Writers get rejected. Often. It helps to understand why. Above all, don’t quit writing. The only writers who never get published are those who quit writing.
NEVER take rejection of your work personally unless it is accompanied by a punch in the nose! Paraphrased quote of Ron Goulart
Here are a few reasons your writing might get rejected:
A. Your work isn’t ready for submission. Are you presenting the best quality of your work? Every sentence in a manuscript must be clear and accurate. If you’re not sure, hire a professional. Having another set of eyes edit your work will give you confidence too.
B. Fiction: no hook, slow pacing, under-developed characters, poorly written dialogue, lack of action
C. Nonfiction: insufficient platform, disorderly composition, and a too-popular topic
Helpful Tip: Join a critique Group to find objective intelligent criticism
D. Your Query was not properly submitted
Choose an appropriate publisher for your topic or genre.
Your book will not be right for all markets; editors vary widely in their tastes. If you write romance, don’t send your pitch to a fantasy press.
Many publishers will not accept an unsolicited manuscript, which means you’ll have to snag an agent before you can submit your proposal. Make sure the editor you’re submitting to accepts submissions. If not, your book will never be read.
Check for content appropriateness. Some editors specify that they don’t publish erotica or offensive language. Check the publishers specifications on what they accept and what they don’t.
And whatever you do, don’t tell the editor about your family problems, that you’ve never been published, know nothing about writing, or that you’re ugly.
E. Your proposal was poorly prepared
Do you have all the necessary portions included in your proposal? (Check out RANDOM WRITING RANTS book proposal checklist HERE .)
F. Uncontrollable factors
There are times when an editor believes your book is written well, but the timing is off. Maybe that press recently contracted another title similar to yours or they’ve decided to limit the books they publish that year. Occasionally, editors hold off on taking new proposals for a few months to get caught up too.
G. Response and Revisions
Outright rejection: When this happens do not respond
Conditional rejection: Do not procrastinate; prepare a point-by-point response
Following editor suggestions may make the difference between rejection, and acceptance by another publisher. However, the next editor may contradict earlier reviews, so use your own best judgment in making revisions.
Suggested Reading Material:
Honing your fiction writing skills:
The Art of War for Fiction Writers– James Scott Bell
Firsts in Fiction- Aaron D. Gansky
Plotting Simplified by Eddie Jones
General Writing Books:
Bird by Bird– Ann Lamont
On Writing Well– William Zinsser
The Artist’s Way– Julia Cameron
Building Your Platform for your nonfiction title:
Links to read on a regular basis:
Cecil Murphy’s Writer to Writer Blog
Remember the three P’s—Patience, Perseverance and Persistence.