“I love my rejection slips; they show me I try.”
Rejection is a big part of being a writer. No matter how many books you’ve published, or how many devoted Twitter or blog followers you may have, you will never be immune from rejection. I received another one myself this week.
As I’ve written in the past, I pitched “Mary Bishop” to two different agents at the WisRWA conference last May and both asked to see a synopsis and partial manuscript. By the end of October I finished the suggested revisions and eagerly sent it out, hoping for at least one of them to request a full manuscript, and ultimately sign me. Within a couple weeks the first one replied with a kind but short “no thank you”. My story didn’t fit her current list needs. Okay. There was still agent #2.
This week, three months later, I received the long-awaited email. After careful consideration, and while she felt my story had a lot going for it, agent #2 didn’t “fall in love” with “Mary Bishop”. Was I disappointed? Of course, but I also understand what she was saying and was happy that she made sure and start with a positive statement about my writing. I wouldn’t want to sign with an agent, or editor, who didn’t “fall in love” with my book. It’s that love that drives the passion needed to promote it. I want, need, them to love it at least as much as I do.
The question is, what do I do now? Do I toss the manuscript into a drawer to rot? No! It’s a good book and I’ve been told by a few editors that, while it didn’t suit their current needs, they knew there would be someone who would want it. So I keep going.
It’s currently an entry in the RWA’s annual Golden Heart competition for authors who have a completed novel ready to market but have not sold one yet. I will find out in mid-March if I’m a finalist in my category (mainstream fiction with romantic elements). If I final, then I continue on to the final round where I will be read by both an editor and an agent. Whether I win in the end or not, I get exposure and the possibility of a contract. The winners will be announced at RWA’s annual conference in Denver in July. I will be there, a finalist or not, and I will also be signing up to pitch to the many agents and editors who will be attending in search of new blood.
I also plan on participating in what Twitter calls a Pitch Party in March. I’ll have a chance to post three pitches at #PitMad in the hopes that an editor or agent will be interested in seeing more. Pitch Parties have become very popular and a door-opener for many writers.
After that? I don’t know. We’ll have to see. But I do know I won’t be giving up until I’m picked up by someone. I know there are readers out there just waiting for my book.
There’s also book #2, “The Healing Heart”. I’m currently about 1/3 of the way through my first draft. By next year I’ll be pitching that one.