After many years in sales, I had a manager that made rejection actually bearable. He explained it so clearly and simply that I’ll share that tidbit with you today.
It’s just that simple. It’s business, not personal. But as writers, our work is personal, isn’t it? No. Bottom line – your manuscript truly is a product. Although we feel like each piece we create is like one of our own children, and no one wants to be told his baby is ugly, we’ve got to take a businessman mentality. Take your ego out of it.
Whether or not that agent or editor gives you personal feedback, or a standard rejection letter, here are the Top Four Reasons you may have gotten your manuscript rejected:
1. Glaring errors (spelling, punctuation, or grammar)
2. You didn’t do your homework – sent wrong genre/age group/word count, etc. to wrong
agent or editor. You didn’t follow the given submission guidelines.
3. They like your story’s concept but didn’t connect to your character’s “voice”.
4. They like your character’s “voice” but the story just wasn’t strong enough/developed
Lastly, it simply may not have been that editor’s “cup of tea” so to speak. Maybe the subject matter just doesn’t interest them. It’s not you… it’s them! So remember this little acronym next time you’re feeling the rejection blues: Q*Tip!
~ Tina P. Schwartz, Founder & Literary Agent at The Purcell Agency, LLC © July 2014