Hello my Freaky Darlings,
As some of you may already have heard, I received a very long, very nice rejection letter from Pan MacMillan South Africa for Requiem in E Sharp. The letter stated that; “From a publishing strategy point of view, the reality is that it is an incredibly tough local fiction market at the moment, and the overseas interest that we are receiving in rights is limited.” It also went on to point out a few issues with the book and my story line. It was on the whole a very positive letter and as rejections go it was probably one of the best rejections I’ve ever received. But it’s still a rejection and rejection sucks!
Rejection letters are a reality that all writers have to face. We get them all the time. Most of them are the “Thanks, but no thanks” form replies to things we’ve sometimes spent years of our lives working on, getting as perfect as we can get it. And in most cases the publishers and editors don’t even read past the first page. If your intro letter or synopsis isn’t done in just the right way for that specific editor you’re pretty much screwed. And it’s not just the publisher or editors fault.
Let’s face it everyone and their mother thinks they can write. I keep hearing from random strangers, when they find out that I’m a writer, that they want to write a book, that they’re sure they have a best seller in them. The sad truth is that not everybody can write, just like not everybody can sing or should sing. American/South African Idols anyone? As a result these poor publishers are bombarded with schlock that nobody should be forced to read. It also makes it a whole lot tougher on people who can write to get published. And then of course there’s the fact that the whole publishing industry all over the world is having major financial issues.
This all means that I have to make a few decisions. I can carry on submitting Requiem to local publishers and hope that one of them sees the potential in it, but even then the book will only be available here in SA and most local publishers don’t really have a decent budget for promotion etc.
I can try and get an international agent, but like most publishers they’re swamped and most of the good ones are trimming down their client lists.
Or I can turn Requiem into a horror novel and send it off to a small press like the one who published Shadows, if not the same one. The small press has become the sanctuary for mid to low list authors as well as some bigger name authors who like the freedom that the small press provides. The big publishing houses all have these rules as to the length the novel has to be and they want it to fit nicely into a genre box which you don’t have with a small press. But with a small press you have to do all your own promo.Which, to be honest, I quite enjoy doing. I’m a fan of the small press.
So … have you had any rejection letters recently? How are you dealing with it?