Friday, December 25, 2009
Cheer-up! Some comfort and encouragement (and caution) for rejected writers
Many writers turn to self-publishing and pay-to-publishing after being rejected by agents and traditional publishers.
While rejection can be depressing and discouraging, the failure to be approved by the media gatekeepers is not necessarily an indication of bad writing or an uninteresting idea.
Books are rejected for many reasons (not only bad quality), but they usually are accepted for one reason: because they are expected to make money.
Sarah Palin's Going Rogue and the endless stream of celebrities' addiction/abuse/confession/recipes/weight-loss books are not published in anticipation of glorifying the publisher by winning Pullitzer prizes. They are published in anticipation of making money.
Professional judgment is imperfect. Many books that are rejected by one publisher, or by many publishers, are later accepted by another publisher.
Most books published by traditional publishing companies with highly paid experts having years of experience, do not sell well. After a few months they are doomed to be sold on the buck-a-book tables or recycled into the raw materials for more books.
My taste in books apparently puts me in the minority of book buyers. Often I eagerly buy a new book as soon as it is released. As expected, I love the book. Alas, few others care about the subject, and the book is soon available for almost nothing at Barnes & Noble or Dollar Tree. This has become a running joke in my family, and my wife would strongly prefer that I wait a while and pay just one dollar instead of $25.
But I won't wait.
There may be many people like me who are waiting for what you are writing. Find a way to reach us. If you can't get a contract from a publisher, self-publish...on paper, online, or in eBooks. Don't be stopped. Don't be silenced. Don't skip professional editing. Don't publish crap.