Thursday, 10 March 2016

Beat The Rejection

Last November, on a whim, I sent my collection of short stories to two publishers - knowing full well that no one is interested in publishing short stories by unknown writers. But I figured, nothing ventured nothing gained. As I hadn't heard back from either - and it's now March! - I took that as a rejection and carried on with editing my novel.

Then I get this email:

Dear Fran,

Thank you for your submission to [... ] . I was impressed by the quality of your writing, but do not feel the collection of short stories strong enough as a whole. In my opinion, you should focus on one story and expand it to a full novel. Short stories are difficult to sell, unless they come from an established author. If you ever come to writing a novel, we will be happy to consider it.

Kind regards

That's cute, right? I know it's still a rejection, but I didn't take it badly. I took it in my stride and just got stuck in to my other writing projects.

Last year, when I sent my second novel out to agents, I got all rejections. But my reaction to the big fat rejection was a lot more dramatic. I slumped over my keyboard for several minutes after reading the agent's explanation as to why they didn't want to take me on. They were polite (those who did reply) some gave very positive feedback, but it still felt like I was reading a sign in big red letters that said:


I ate lots of biscuits and I bored my husband senseless about how unfair life was. 

Eventually I moved on. I started to re-draft the manuscript of my second novel. I also launched myself into self-publishing in a different name and genre and it's been exhilarating. Under my pen name I have a book coming out on Monday. No one can reject you when you self-publish. I love that fact.

So ... back to the above rejection letter. Yes I am working on a full novel, and yes I'll certainly submit it to you when it's finished. And no, I will not eat biscuits or go into a coma if you reject me again.

I don't suck - I'm working on becoming a better writer.


  1. A great post, Fran. It really does capture the turmoil we writers go through. Very topsy turvey :) Fantastic news on the feedback of short stories. It is such a shame that publishes won't touch them because a lot of people want to buy and read them. Self-publishing is the way to go there. I've decided to go the self-publishing route all round. I've researched both avenues and have decided to take control of my own future and there is such a lot of useful advice out there by Indie authors. I'll definitely keep an eye out for your upcoming publication. How exciting!!!! Many, many congratulations Fran. Wishing you every success - fully deserved.

    1. I would deffo agree about self-publishing being the way to go. Especially since my first novel was traditionally published, I found it hard to promote in ways I'd like to. My experience with self publishing the novel under my pen name convinces me of that. My pen name has entered the A-Z Challenge which is another reason for being reticent but just thought up a quick and easy theme I could go for ... so just maybe ... As always lovely to hear from you!

  2. Good for you, and hope the self publishing project is a success. Warm greetings!

  3. Thank you and thanks for dropping by!

  4. I mention this in a post I wrote for Monday, but I got my agent after a rejection from another agent where he'd asked me to rewrite my entire manuscript. So sometimes when you take that advice and create something from it, it can lead to good things!

    1. That's good news, Stephanie. I've been taking all the advice I get, especially from fellow authors. Thank you for that and thanks for dropping by.

  5. What a great rejection - they'll certainly look favourably at the novel when you send it to them and remind them of what they said in the email. I didn't even try to get an agent or publisher for my story collections (as I know few take them) but had fun self-publishing them. I also think having a collection out there helped me to find an agent when it came to submitting my novel.

  6. That's interesting. Maybe I should self-pub my short stories. I was put off the idea because of the whole no one knows you thing. Maybe I'll just go for it. Thanks for that, Wendy.