Over time, I am growing a little more thick-skinned. There are a hundred good reasons why a publisher may not choose your work, many of which do not reflect on your worth as a writer. Much as it is in the actor’s world, where sometimes they’re looking for a very particular “look”, or the director has imagined a particular voice quality which you don’t have, or the producer would feel safer going with a well-known name, factors entirely out of your control are likely to decide your fate.
Nonetheless, rejection, even the spaced-out, more distant rejections a writer must endure, do take a toll. I find I must allow myself several months between submissions—time enough to the let the echoing rings of rejection fade before I send my stuff out again.
Here's how Lunatics has so far fared: I sent off my first manuscript to a Canadian publisher in November, 2011. To this date I have not heard back or even received an acknowledgement that the publisher has received my work. I KNOW small publishing houses are busy, but a couple of sentences in an email? How hard can it be? I will count this one as a rejection.
A friend suggested I might find more satisfaction from American publishers. Certainly I’ve found more courtesy. Several acknowledged the receipt of my manuscript by email, and two have since informed me that Lunatics doesn’t meet their “requirements” at this time.
(And probably not later either, I suspect.)
So far then, I’ve had three official rejections of out thirteen submissions. Six of my submissions were sent out only in October of 2012, so the wind hasn’t been taken out of my sails completely… And, in the meantime, my novella, Eta Carinae, HAS been accepted for publication. Hurrah for Vagabondage Press!
Of course, just waiting to hear back from publishers is a recipe for insanity. There can be no better remedy than to start a brand new novel, and so I have. And this time, it's a murder story. Based on a true one. Set in the mining camps of British Columbia in the 1880s. Working title: Big Ledge.