Even though rejection can hurt, it’s part of writing. No matter who you are or how hard you slaved over your work, not everyone will like your book. You can polish your words until they sparkle, and somebody will still take exception to them.
Especially when you’re involved in trade submissions to ezines, small publishers, or agents, expect a steady diet of this stuff. It’s not personal. The person you submitted to either doesn’t care for the type of story you write or doesn’t think they can make any money off it. That’s all.
And while a rejection letter is definitely not what you want to find in your inbox, they’re really not soul-crushing. I’ve been querying literary agents lately, and I’ve saved a few of mine. For example:
“Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to read your submission.
Unfortunately, after careful review, I have decided to pass on this
project. This industry is incredibly subjective, and there are many
agencies out there with many different tastes. It is for this reason that I
strongly encourage you to keep submitting elsewhere, in the hopes of finding
an agent who will be an enthusiastic champion for you and your work.
I wish you all the very best of luck and success with your writing.”
Or this one:
“Thank you so much for your query, and for your patience during this busy time of year. Unfortunately, your manuscript isn’t the right fit for me at this time, but I truly appreciate the chance to consider your work. Should you find yourself with a new manuscript to query, I hope you’ll keep me in mind.”
Even the terse ones are polite:
“This is not for me, but thank you for the look.”
Overall, I’d rather get a rejection letter than have to sit and wonder. Some agents say on their websites that a certain number of weeks equals a pass on the project. So then you have to keep track of that, too. A rejection letter is straightforward. I offered–they passed.
So if the thought of rejection is keeping you from submitting your work, it might be worth rethinking. I’m getting used to the silly things and can usually brush past the disappointment quickly now. I’m sure you can, too.
Keep writing and submitting. 🙂