Sunday, August 26, 2012

When A Submission Fails

The question of whether a story is ready to be sent to the publisher is always a tricky one. We aren't the best judge for our work because these are our babies. Still, we edit until our eyes cross and even have one or two people edit after us.

My recent submission didn't make the cut and I got a rejection letter. Yes, it's a sad moment. Still, the editor was kind enough to offer some comments, which not all editors will do, so it's important to read over those comments with objective eyes. Did the editor have valid points? Are these changes that should be made to the story?

These aren't easy questions to ask, but we must face them and supply the necessary answers to go forward. Oh, yes, I'll lick my wounds and heal the hurt with a fat slice of cheesecake, but then I'll get back to work. What is the next step in this process? Well, it's a step that I made before I submitted the story in the first place.

I have a list of publishers from who I will submit to next. Is this appropriate? Am I being rude by not putting all my faith in the single publisher? It is absolutely not rude, and yes this is appropriate. Publishing is a business. Making writing my business requires that I have additional prospects. It's the same concept as having more than one publisher. There's no disloyalty involved, just smart business sense.

So, I'll look at the editors suggestions, probably revise and edit some elements of the story, and then resubmit  Bet on the Lady to another publisher. This story has a home somewhere. I just need to find the right place.

Until next time,

 Oh, P.S. Don't forget to send a "thank you for your time" note to the editor. It's just good business behavior. We are all, after all, professionals. :-)




  1. Well said. My husband and I spent five years honing our craft before we got our first acceptance - we were able to mark progress when we gradually received fewer form rejections, then rejections with comments, and finally requests to revise and re-submit.

    Judith Viorst (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) is my heroine in this journey - she started submitting as a teenager and didn't get an acceptance until nearly a decade later, but she never stopped submitting.

    Good luck!


  2. Thank you, Adriana, for the encouragement. You're right about there actually being a natural progression to rejections. First the form letter, then one with comments and finally the re-submit.

    Well, I must be doing something right. Lol.

  3. I think we learn with ever closed door and it makes us work harder. I know you will get into the places you strive for.