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Monday, October 1, 2012

Rejection

by striatic

You can’t query without being rejected. There is no way around this universal truth.

 I was at LDStorymakers in 2011 and author Elana Johnson (I would stake my life on the fact it was her, but someone tell me if I'm wrong :) got an award for the most rejections that year—86 (give or take).

I hadn’t started querying yet so I had no way to know if this was normal or not, but I was so impressed with her determination. I thought she must have great confidence in her story. And she was right to. If you’ve read Possession you will know what I mean.

I’ve had 26 rejections so far this year. Lots were form rejections, some rejections of partials or full requests, and some were “I liked your writing. I liked your story, but I can’t represent it now.” I think the last are the hardest and in some ways the nicest to take.

So I want to know…What is your rejection number? Any that have broken your heart? How do you keep going?

-Angie

31 comments:

Melissa Sarno said...

I think I have about a thousand at this point ;) Many have broken my heart, always the ones that are 'so close but no' I'm too stubborn to give up.

Meredith said...

I don't count my rejections--I just try to keep going. And chocolate always helps. :)

ilima said...

My computer crashed earlier this year, so I lost all my stats. But it was a lot. Two books worth and sending out a butt-load of queries for each a lot. But remember, it only takes one yes...

Kathryn Purdie said...

I never really experienced querying because of my unusual getting-an-agent story, but I do face rejections now. And you're right, it's the "nice" ones that are the hardest because I know I was that much closer, but still didn't get it.

My favorite example of querying perseverance is Matthew Kirby, now an award-winning author, who, while he was querying, wallpapered his office with all of his query rejections (two walls were covered from floor to ceiling). He viewed his rejections as badges of honor.

Keep going, Angie!

Tobi Summers said...

I just started querying, so I only have 6 rejections so far (out of 12 sent). A couple broke my heart. But hearing about other people's tough journeys helps strengthen my resolve to keep going.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Let's see...just this year, right? Probably about the same as yours. It gets under the skin a little, but I'm too obsessed to stop.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Between novel rejections and story rejections the number would probably be more than I'd care to comprehend. Besides, that's too much math for my brain. :)

Cassie Mae said...

I'll play!

First book: 125 rejections (PS, I did all the rookie mistakes on this one, lol)

Second book: 50 rejections (Not ONE request or personalized reject, btw. That was kinda heartbreaking.)

Third book: 2 rejections (Never give up, never surrender! It'll happen with the right book at the right time :))

Cassie Mae said...

Oh oh oh! I will amend some of my previous comment!

Out of the requests I got, I got 11 rejections out of 12. And I'm not supposed to go into submission rejects, but that happens too. So even when you get past step one, you gotta keep dealing with it. :) Good thing I had all that practice!

Emily R. King said...

I've lost count, but it's over 200. And each one hurt. Some more than others. Some less than others.

No wonder I dislike querying! :)

Jessie Humphries said...

Angie, I don't like talking about money, politics, or rejections!!! hahaha. Let's talk about chocolate, and beach trips, and spooning! Yah, let's talk about sex baby. JK!!!

prerna pickett said...

I'm going to try to refrain from counting the rejections once I start querying. Hopefully I can hang in there like Elana Johnson.

Katie Dodge said...

I'm at 66 for my current one. So hard. I go through spurts of thinking I'll put it off for a while, then bam! I get hit with inspiration and a new drive. I'm on one of those rare little stints right now and just sent out some more queries. Just keep on keepin' on. Right?!

Rena said...

yeah, I'd gotten some 50 for my first book before I realized that what it needed was a top to bottom rewrite (still working on that). My current query bait only has some 25 or so rejections (a smattering of requests and form rejections), but I expect that number to climb soon.

Johanna Garth said...

I have an email folder for rejections. As soon as I get one I file it away so and then go back to it when I'm ready to face it...especially if it was a rejection after a full or partial. Those really sting!!

Samantha May said...

I haven't started querying yet, but when I do I'd be willing to bet that it's going to happen a LOT.

I'll let you know :D

Jess Stork said...

Well, you've inspired me to do some more querying with my manuscript. I think I've made twenty four, but you're right, I need to keep going. Thanks for the push.

S.P. Bowers said...

I think I'm only at a dozen rejections, but I didn't start querying until the end of June. I'm still going strong though, still putting myself out there for more rejection.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I love hearing inspiring query stories! Querying makes you question how good your book is so much-- it's an amazing thing to keep going. Because if you do, YOU WILL GET THERE. You just will. It's amazing what persistence does for a writer!

Freya Morris said...

Nice to hear that she got that many rejections!

I'm also not a fan of keeping count. I've kept them all I think, so maybe I will
when ;) I finally get an agent.

Suzi said...

I haven't started querying my current WIP... almost there. My last was a lot. Cause I queried with a ms that wasn't ready. And a crappy query letter. And it took me 6 months before I even knew it.

That won't happen this time.

Tamara said...

First book, 64 rejections. Two were on partials, two on fulls. The full rejections were the hardest to take. Especially the last full rejection. That one was pretty heartbreaking.

Only two rejections yet on second book, but I only sent out three queries.I just decided to do some rewrites before sending out anymore, so we'll see.

Jackie said...

Like Suzi, I haven't started querying my current ms. But I'm so scared to delve into the querying stage again. *sigh* R's are the worst when it comes to full requests.

Nick Wilford said...

I'm bowled over (and inspired) by some of the numbers here... I moved on from my first book after a dozen rejections (all form). Now I kind of wish I'd been blogging then so I knew more than zero writers who could have offered feedback!

Don't know how new it is cos I've been away for a bit, but I love the new look. Tara is a design demon!

Morgan said...

Holy... I don't know my rejection number... I need to check on that...

And there has been one rejection that has broken my heart, but we're now working together, so it was worth it after the long hard road! FIght, fight, fight. That's seriously what it comes down to. Rewrite, face rejection head on, and embrace it.

I should go count though... that would be interesting...

Tara Tyler said...

my number is 15? with just as many no response, but one full! the full is turning into a no response as i am letting that ms sit for at least another month & work on a new promising novel =)
and thats how i deal with rejection, keep writing!!

David P. King said...

I'm sure it's well over 100 by now. I'll have to double back and check the spreadsheet, but the point is, never give up and make use of any advice you can get. :)

Libby said...

I don't even keep count anymore. Between short stories, novels, plays and screenplays — I've been rejected a lot.

Melissa Sarno said...

Oh my gosh- it gives me anxiety looking at everyone's rejection stats ;) I had to scan quickly past. Phew. Just here again to let you know I tagged you on my blog, m'dear.

jamieayres.com said...

I think I got around 60 rejections before an offer for publishment. I actually never thought about giving up . . . it just wasn't an option for me. I'd invested too much time already and I wanted to show my kids/students that you can achieve your dreams:-) I couldn't have given it up any more than breathing. Hang in there, it'll happen for ya when the timing is right. Timing IS everything~hugs

Livia said...

Wow, several of people get many rejections. The numbers amaze me and I never realized how many rejections you could get.

I don't write books so I don't get any rejections. I measure my success of my writing at my blog. If I get a bucket load of comments on posts and over 30 followers, it tells me I must be doing something right in this blogosphere.

Great post, Angie :)

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