Enjoying a Good Rejection Story

Everyone in the writing community knows that rejection is part of the business and that if you can’t handle it you might as well start looking for a new career. Maybe that’s why rejection stories are traded so frequently among writers.  We’ve all heard about how an impoverished, single mom (JK Rowlings) worked away on her first Harry Potter manuscript which was rejected no less than nine times before going viral.  I’ll bet some of the larger publishing houses are still kicking themselves over that one!

But, here’s one I hadn’t heard.  According to a guest post by D.L. Orton over at Pimp my Novel,

Stephen King received 30 rejections for his novel Carrie before throwing it in the trash. His wife retrieved it, and convinced him to keep trying. The editor from Doubleday who finally bought the book had to send King a telegram because his phone had been disconnected.

Even though I’m not a huge Stephen King fan (his stuff is just too scary for my taste), you gotta love hearing that a whole lot of publishers missed the boat.

Remember that it only takes one publisher to fall in love with your manuscript and even the best have been rejected so you’re in good company.  Keep revising.  Keep sending it out.  And, if you hit  your rejection saturation point, toss it in a drawer instead of the trash (or in this day and  age, the recycling box) and get on with your next project!  Orton’s website title sums it up: Just Write.

Writing help from a pro

Getting Started

Like most other professional writers with a focus on books for kids and teens, I’m frequently asked by family and friends to look at their stories and/or help them get published.  But, writing a cute story simply isn’t enough. Most amateurs aren’t aware of just how much time, effort, and work goes into getting published, especially these days.  Even very short manuscripts can require a dozen rewrites, and of course you have to find a publisher interested enough to take a chance on your work.  Writing for kids is not something you can do just because you’ve got a little retirement time on your hands.  It takes knowledge about the industry and a commitment to the craft of writing. Even if you decide to opt for the self-published route, you still need to follow the previous steps, but in addition, you will also need to find the services of a professional editor, designer, and illustrator or photographer for your book’s cover (and, if necessary, interiors), possibly a computer expert (if you are going the e-book route) and you’ll still need someone to handle promotion and sales.

If all this is sounding a little overwhelming, you may want to check out Harold Underdown’s “Getting Started” pages.  Underdown, is a former editor, and the author of The Complet Idiot’s Guide to Children’s Publishing.


His advice is solid gold