Post: What To Do When A Publisher Rejects Your Book

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Writers put pieces of themselves into each and every work they produce, which is one of the reasons it can be so devastating when a publisher rejects your submission. One, two or even half a dozen rejections is far from the end of your career as an author, however.

A hallmark of a successful author is one who doesn’t give up. Now this does not mean that you should immediately submit to a different publisher. The period of time following a rejection is important for self-reflection and even improving your manuscript and submission strategy.

Have you revisited your manuscript?

Did you polish up your manuscript before hitting the “submit” button? Well, it might be time to revisit it anyway. Publishers generally do not provide reasons for rejections, so you might be reviewing your manuscript with what feels like blind eyes. Before you submit anywhere else, be on the lookout for some of the following:

  • Grammatical errors
  • Missing punctuation
  • Disorganized thoughts or writing
  • Inconsistent verb tense

It may feel like the job of a writer is never done, and that’s partially because it’s true. You don’t have to take on this job all by yourself though. Beta readers can help you identify what isn’t working in your writing and are an essential part of the writing process. You can also work with an editor to identify issues.

Look for the right publisher

You could have written a knockout novel, but you won’t get very far with a publisher that primarily publishes horror when you are writing romance. In other words, you need to find the right publisher for you. After all, you want to submit your book to someone who is just as excited about it as you are!

This will take a bit of leg work if you are not working with an agent. You will need to identify publishers that are open to submissions and looking for books in your genre. Keep an eye out for terms of submission as well, as some publishers will not accept simultaneous submissions.

Treat yourself gently

Writing a novel may be one of your life’s greatest accomplishments. After months, years or even decades of writing, revising and editing, hearing “no” can be devastating. While you still have some work ahead of you, now is the time to be gentle with yourself. Do something to try and cheer yourself up! You can try:

  • Rereading your favorite book
  • Treating yourself to lunch
  • Taking a week off writing

Just because one publisher wasn’t the right fit for your book doesn’t mean there isn’t another one out there. You wrote a book for a reason and it deserves to be read! So stay committed, revisit your manuscript and remember that there is publisher out there who is just right for you.