Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Member of the Rejection Club? Share For A Chance At Krista's New Book!

Last Friday I got a membership into the coolest club ever. The Rejection Club. Yes, indeed, I received my very first rejection from a publisher. I'd submitted my requested manuscript in December and knew the wait would be a long one, so I hadn't been feverishly checking my email.

When I checked my email during my lunch break at work on Friday, I saw the name of the editor in my inbox and knew. I knew what it was and I was okay with it. I opened up the email and read through what I thought was a fairly nice response. They told me what was lacking and what was needed for their line, and I was totally okay with it - well, after a little pouting. And do you know why?

I've learned a few things along the way.

Almost everyone gets rejected. Even famous authors receive rejections. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter was rejected 12 times before a publisher took it on. Stephen King had hundreds of rejections before he sold Carrie. Sol Stein was rejected 99 times before he sold. Even Julie Lessman received 45 rejections before selling. If you receive a rejection letter for something you have submitted, you are in good company.

Rejection can be a motivator. While you may fall into the depths of despair at the arrival of a rejection letter, once you recover, your determination to move past it, writer better, and show people you have what it takes will motivate you like nothing else. You can do it!

Receiving a rejection means you are brave. You betcha I am brave to put my work out there to be read, judged, and rejected! Here's the thing. You can't get THE CALL for publication if you never submit your work. It takes courage to hit that "send" button on your computer and let discriminating eyes peruse your work. So yes, receiving a red stamp of rejection on your manuscript means you are brave to the umpth-degree.

So you see, entrance into the Rejection Club is an honor and I embrace it with joy! 

Because I feel so strongly about this wonderful milestone in my life, I am giving away a copy of our Alley Cat Krista Phillip's debut book, Sandwich With a Side of Romance. It won't be released until the fall of this year, but I will pre-order it and it will be shipped to one of our lucky commenters. I will use random.org to pick a winner, which will be announced on the Weekend Edition. *U.S. residents only, sorry. 

So answer this question for me.... How many rejections have you received? If you aren't a writer, tell me a time when you have been rejected (job, boyfriend, etc?).

This post is brought to you by
 Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda is wife to "Pastor John" and mother to three giant sons and one gorgeous daughter. A born and bred Texan, she writes historical romance filled with fun, faith, and forever love.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Sherrinda, on joining the club! It sounds like you have a great outlook on rejections in the writing process. :)

I'm fortunate to have people who have gone before me on this journey. They've helped me to understand the roles/benefits rejection plays in the writing process.

I haven't sent anything to a publisher yet--still working on completing my ms--but I have received a magazine rejection. Does that count? :)

May you hear good news soon, Sherrinda!

Joanne Sher said...

Oh yes - welcome to the club!

And how many rejections I have RECEIVED is different from how many rejections I have. I've sent my NF manuscript to nine agents, and I'm not represented by any of them. A few sent me notes (REALLY appreciated that) and others didn't - but they have that "if you don't hear from us by such and such a time, you're rejected" policy. And the time has gone. AND there's one who's had it since September and I haven't heard either way. Guessing it's a no.

But that's okay - I DEFINITELY learned from the notes I got - and, of course, from the blogs the agents have (and here!).

Not done sending :)

Keli Gwyn said...

I admire your attitude, Sherrinda. Like you, I did my best to look at a pass as an opportunity. When I received my first one, I framed it and hung it on my office wall. Why? Because it proved I was a "real" writer, one willing to take the steps necessary to achieve my goal of publication. That pass also enabled me to become a PRO member of RWA, so it had value.

That said, I offer you a virtual hug. Passes do sting a bit. But I'm so proud of you for having taken the step of submitting your work to a publishing pro. I can't wait until one of them falls in love with your story and snaps it up.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I had a manuscript sit on the desk at Zondervan for one year.

Dr. Hensley helped me formulate a letter to Zondervan asking "how it was going." One month later, the editor wrote me back. "We debated back and forth but in the end decided it wouldn't work for us."

Hmm debated was good. A great start. This was my first leap.
Like you Sherrinda, I was ok with it.
We are sisters in the club:)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I think the rejection from the magazine counts, definitely.
Welcome to the club.
And now that we have learned, let us submit again:)

Mary Vee Writer said...

What an encourager you are!
You have shown its not just resubmitting, but learning and growing and then resubmitting. Well done. Looking forward to the day your book is on the bookshelf.

Patricia Bradley said...

I don't have enough toes and fingers to tell you how many rejections I've received. But most came with suggestions and after I picked myself up off the floor, I analyzed them. And used them to make my manuscripts stronger. I even sold a short story to the same person who rejected it after I addressed her concerns. Great post!

Pepper said...

Welcome to the club, Sherrinda!
Good post!
I have rejections from agents and editors - are we counting the total number?
I have well over 30 in all. Probably closer to 40.
And i haven't even gotten all of my replies back from ACFW submits yet :-)

Lindsay Harrel said...

I haven't submitted my ms anywhere, but have received rejections for poems, creative essays, and magazine articles I've submitted. It stings at first, but then eventually you'll get a bite. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? :)

Unknown said...

I've gotten rejected by way of nothing, meaning I've submitted stories to magazines or contests and I have to guess I wasn't chosen because I didn't receive a letter stating otherwise! :) Donna

Sigal Tzoore said...

I've been sending my novel out for the past year or so, and so far have gathered about a dozen rejections. Sometimes I'm not sure if the agent had looked beyond where I describe the book as a fairy tale. I got a lot of "The princess market is tough" responses.

At the moment one agent has my full manuscript (yay!) but I haven't heard back yet. I like having several queries with agents at the time, so there's always hope one of them will work out.

I wrote several posts about rejection in my blog. Here's my favorite:

For me, at least, rejection is really tough, and always sets me back a few days. I wonder if it's possible to get used to it, eventually.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Oh gosh! I don't know how many times I've been rejected. For some reason I never decided to keep count, let alone keep rejection letters. I just like to learn what I can and move on. But we'll just say...it's been more than a dozen :)

Pat, that's a great story and perfect example that using feedback from agents and editors can work to our advantage.

Lindsay, you're so right! And it sounds like you already have some experience but know that in the long run, it all still works out :)

Donna, I think sometimes those rejections are the hardest. You end up waiting for a long time without any feedback. But we just have to keep going until we do, right?

Sigal, congratulations on getting a request for a full. There might be lots of rejections along the way, but it only takes one agent and one editor who believes in your work to get there. All the best!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Whew! I just got home from Austin, seeing my college daughter (who couldn't come home for Spring Break). Thanks to my sweet Alley Cats for helping me out today! You gals are forever wonderful!

Look at all you awesome Rejection Club Members! I am so impressed that you all are so incredibly brave and determined.

Let's keep writing and submitting!!!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Well, as I always say, rejection is a great excuse to eat CHOCOLATE! :)

No seriously, Sherrinda, I love the attitude you have about this because I've faced the same crossroads when I've gotten rejections. We can either move forward and let it make us better. Or we can sit and pout for the rest of our lives and never get anywhere. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

No pouters allowed :(
Isn't it said somewhere that chocolate paves the road to success?

Julie Lessman said...

WHOO-HOO, SHERRINDA, one down, only 44 more to go!!! :) But I'm thinkin' you're gonna kick sand in my face with a sale WAY before that, my friend!!

I'm SO proud of you for seeing this as a milestone because it SO is, and it speaks volumes about your determination and gumption to put your baby out there. I actually saw rejections as a badge of honor, which is why I was tickled pink when I won the booby prize at ACFW for the most rejections in a year. But the REAL fun was standing on that same stage three years later to receive ACFW’s Debut Book of the Year for the same book, which means you gotta love those rejections all the more because it feels SO darn good to prove 'em wrong!!

Onward and upward, darlin' ... it's coming!


Unknown said...

Sherrinda, I've never met you, but I think you've got oodles of wisdom. I love your attitude and the way you've chosen to learn and grow rather than wallow and stagnate. :)

Tracy Krauss said...

I always site one first hard core rejection as a milestone in my growth as an author. If I'd saved all those rejections I could have wallpapered a room.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

LOL...Mary! I hadn't heard that about chocolate paving the road to success, but it sounds phenomenal! I want to travel with YOU!

Melissa!!! I was thinking that I could say the exact same thing about YOU! Lots of wisdom there...love that I recently found your blog!!!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Julie!!! You are such a cheerleader and I love that about you! It will definitely be a good day when I can hold all my rejections in one hand and a publishing contract in another! Woohoo!!! I truly like the idea of rejections being a badge of honor for writers. It is the sign of hard work and determination, isn't it?


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Tracy, so you think I should only save the first? I've heard people only saving one and ignoring the rest...and then others saving them all. You know, I may gather so many I won't have room to save them anywhere! lol

Jo said...

When I was younger I had plans to write but my writing only amounted to writing letters and never actually sat down to do any stories. I was rejected by one company that really upset me. Reason being the first time I went for the job, I did such a great job on the test that they tried to find someone to interview me immediately for the 2nd interview so that I wouldn't have to come back and when I did have to come back, all of a sudden I didn't do as well on the test. Didn't make sense to me.


Susan Anne Mason said...

Great attitude,Sherrinda! I suppose I should count my rejections one day! Or not!

LOL. Keep up the good work!


darbyscloset said...

My rejection theory is, whenever I receive a "No" that means I am that much closer to a "Yes"!!! So "No's" are good things!!!
Welcome to the club! ; )

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Jo, can I just say "ouch"! That is weird they would turn you down after not doing as well on the second test. Rejections are a pain no matter what, aren't they?

Susan, you do NOT have to count your rejections!!! lol I wouldn't force anyone to do that! I am just curious, that's all. ;)

Darby, I absolutely LOVE your name! Can I use it sometime as a character???? And I must say, I love the way you think! Yes, yes, yes! We are that much closer to our goal. :)

Books Are A Blessing said...

Thank you ladies for the wonderful post....and I love the cover of your book Krista. Can't wait to read it!
And though I am not a writer, I have been rejected a number of times throughout life, one I am thinking about it a job opportunity I should have had but didn't, because yes I was rejected, and someone else got the job. But after feeling sorry for myself for a while, I finally got over it, and it was really ok. Sometimes rejection can bring out the best in us.

Beth K. Vogt said...

Welcome to the club, Sherrinda. You have a tremendous attitude!
And I can't tell you how many rejections I've received because, well, I didn't keep count. This is not to say I had an exorbitant amount of rejections ... I just didn't do the math.
Here's one thing I did do though: I decided to call rejection letters "regrouping" letters. I could either get all rejected, or I could regroup.
So, I decided to go ahead and pout a bit (admit my feelings) and then regroup -- figure out what to do next -- and then do it. (After the proper amount of pouting.)

Jessica Nelson said...

I've had bunches. ;-) You're right, you ARE brave and also, how cool that you got a personalized one!! Most of mine were form. lol

I definitely want to be entered to win!! I'm so excited to read Krista's work!

Casey said...

Oo! Oo! Oo! Can I enter??

Guess not, since I'm an Alley Cat.

Thus I have been rejected!

Kidding, only kidding.

I haven't submitted yet to receive formal rejection, but I've received contest rejection many times!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

JOY, like you I think sometimes rejections can work on us in a good way. It helps us grow as a person, building our character in ways that good experiences couldn't. Thanks for sharing!

BETH!!!! I love that idea! Regrouping is soooo much nicer than the word rejection! Aren't you smart?! I am going to start naming my letters that!

JESSICA, I didn't know you had rejections! Somehow I thought your new debut book got grabbed up! :) I just finished reading it and am going to review it and have a giveaway on my blog next week. Yay!

CASEY, you silly girl! I would say that contest entries definitely qualify. It's hard to receive those low scores, isn't it?

Jessica R. Patch said...

Sherrinda, you are such an encourager and I love how you take the negative and turn it into a positive! Well done!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Thanks, Jessica! I try to look on the bright side of things, even though I do have a pair of Cranky Pants that come out of the closet every now and then. :)