I got another rejection letter today - my first since I've started blogging. And just one day after my post on depression! I should have waited a day!
I never know what to do when I get one of these letters. I read that an aspiring writer will get hundreds of these before getting published. If so, then I've only just begun. Bring it on all you dream crushers! Reject my novel! See if I care!
Here's a good article on Interpreting Rejection Letters by Christine Trent. She lists 5 categories of rejections: The Form Rejection, The Copy of a Copy of a Copy Rejection, The Polite Rejection, The "Make These Changes" Rejection, and The Detailed Rejection.
Let's see what I've got so far. The name of my book is "Escape From the Planet Justice". I sent each publisher a cover letter, the first three chapters, and a synopsis.
#1) Approx. 4/29/2010: I got a Copy of a Copy Rejection from a really big name publisher. It's addressed to "Dear Author". The name of my book does not appear in the typed portion. It's signed "Sincerely, The Editors" so I don't know who exactly rejected me. Someone wrote "Re: Justice" in blue letters. I can see copy marks on the paper. It even isn't dated. Ouch!
#2) 5/24/2010: A Polite Rejection. She sends an email addressed to me by first name and writes, "Thank you for your interest in <our publishing company>. Your ms. is not what we are looking for, but your talent is obvious and we wish you the best of luck in placing your book with another book publisher," and she signs her name and title. This letter actually gives me hope, as a real-life editor took the time to write the personal "your talent is obvious" - which lifts this letter a notch over the "Form Rejection".
#3) 6/28/2010: Form Letter Rejection. This one is actually for a short story submission (my first short story rejection!). My name and the title of my story is not in the email at all. This email is worded in such a way it can be sent to anyone. In fact, this may be a Copy of a Copy of an email. Is that a copy mark I see on the email? How did they do that?
#4) 7/16/2010: A Polite Rejection. She addresses me by first name AND includes the full title of my book in the email. Two paragraphs of the email are clearly form letter material. One paragraph is specific to me. She writes, "While there is no easy way to say this, I am afraid that we will have to pass on your manuscript. We just aren’t interested in the plot." Honest, but unfortunately doesn't speak to whether or not I have talent.
#5) 10/8/2010: A Polite Rejection. She addresses me by full name AND includes the full title of my book. But then she writes: "Unfortunately, this manuscript is not quite what we are looking for at this time." On second thought, this could be a really nice Form Letter Rejection. But coming from a big name publisher, I should consider myself lucky to get my name and book title in the email.
From the conglomeration of these rejection letters - I'm wondering about my book. Is the plot really that bad? (Ditch the book and try to sell another one.) Or is it my synopsis? (Rewrite the synopsis again!) Do I really have talent? (Stop writing and torturing people.) I'm not sure what to do next.
I can only keep pushing forward. One day someone will just have to say "yes."