No one likes getting rejected. It hurts, it’s annoying, and it can really wreck a decent day. Writers get rejected a lot so if writing is your dream, realize that it’s inevitable.

Understand the importance of market and genre because they’re what agents and editors consider when thinking about how to position and sell your book. You have to know what market you’re aiming for, and whether your work fits well there. If not, you’ll get rejected for sure.

Another reason work gets rejected is bad editing. This means a number of things, but mostly it’s how clean the manuscript is. Typos make a reader think they’re holding something that’s been dashed off, not sweated over.

Even an excellent book or short story runs the risk of being rejected if the publisher has just taken on a work that’s similar in tone or subject matter. As an author, there’s no way you can tell beforehand what other projects are in the queue. Don’t take it personally.

Rejection also reflects what I call the numbers game. Let’s say your manuscript is both flawless and brilliant. You’ve done your research; you have a list of excellent readers who are likely to admire it based on their past publications. Your subject matter is timely. However, chances are you won’t get in just because so many other authors are vying for attention. Editors and agents are overwhelmed by submissions.

There is a big difference between ego and egocentric.

  • Ego: a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
  • Egocentric: thinking only of oneself, without regard for the feelings or desires of others; self-centered.

We all have egos. If you want to do things well and are good at your job you might come across as over-confident but there is a big difference between ‘doing a good job’ and ‘wanting to be a star’. Most authors enjoy writing well and also like the attention, no matter how much they cover it up. Which means that our egos have a tendency to be wrapped up in our creations and our images of ourselves.

The mark of a true writer is one who will last for the long haul and has the ability to stuff your ego in your back pocket. Brace for rejection. Accept your manuscript from the too-honest critic, grit your teeth and settle down for another rewrite then emerge having grown a little wiser in the craft and a little thicker skinned.

But, above all avoid being egocentric.

Fact is: we are human, hate rejection and our egos do get wounded.

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“Linda has published sixteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish. She has mentored many authors and edited their work.” 

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