The other day I was reading various blogs and came across Nathan Bransford’s post, “Every Writer Gets Rejected.” He wrote about the age old party game that we writers like to play, “Did You Hear How Many Times X Award-Winning-Novel Was Rejected?’ These discussions always fascinate me as well as give me hope. If Dr. Seuss and J.K. Rowling and Jane Yolen get rejected, than I’m in great company! So I was more than a little surprised when Bransford wrote that many writers use this type of discussion to show that the current publishing system is broken.
Sure, I think that every now and again when I get rejected. After all, my marketing strategies are brilliant, so if they are rejecting me when I send them a manuscript that is clearly perfect for them . . . clearly the system needs help. Eventually, I come to my senses and realize that my rejections mean no more or less than those everyone else receives. Not right here, not right now. Try again.
When the big names (both authors and books) get rejected, it really doesn’t make me think conspiracy or even about a need for massive change in how publishing works. It just makes me think about how subjective publishing is. Even a great book isn’t perfect for every editor. Depending on the day of the week and the phase of the moon, a book that might be perfect for Editor A on Monday won’t be on Friday. It is simply a matter of having your work in the right place at the right time.
Hard to do, yes. But, not impossible.
So, did you hear how many times Harry Potter was rejected?