My last post was about querying a little at a time and not shooting yourself in the foot by sending queries to every single agent in the industry. Well, this post is about dealing with rejection. It's tough accepting the rejections that start streaming in without diving into that plate of brownies or drinking an entire bottle of wine. You obviously love your book. Your critique partners loved it. Random people you've shoved your manuscript in front of their faces loved it. So why aren't the agents loving it?
I've come to terms with the form rejection and you should too. This one isn't personal. There could be many reasons that the agent fired off that form rejection. It's not right for her list, she doesn't handle that kind of story, or your query needs serious work.
Most likely, if you get a rejection on a full request, the agent will give you feed back, and you can revise. I was getting rejections on one of my manuscripts, so I decided to stop querying, do an extensive revision, have betas read it, and then requery. It took many months to rework it, but I'm glad I did. Not only did I make it a better story, but also I learned a lot through the tough critiques I received.
Then there are the conflicting rejections or revise and resubmits where agents feel differently about your work. One says it's moving too fast and another says it's going too slow. What do you do when you have conflicting suggestions? You take a step back, breathe, ask your betas their thoughts, and decide what's best for the story. The story you want to tell. That was a hard one for me, because I wanted to please the agents at the cost of possibly ruining what I loved about my story. Go with your gut. Only make the changes you know will benefit your story.
It's hard not to get upset when someone doesn't like your work, but try to remember this business is very subjective. And when you feel like giving up, read the success stories on Query Tracker. I love reading them because they give me hope. We have our own success story here at DNA Writers. Read Shelley Watters' post Don't You Dare Give Up .
That's it until next time.
You can find Brenda on her blog http://email@example.com
or on twitter here http://twitter.com/#!/brendadrake