Writers need a thick skin
So, you have written, edited and re-edited your book. You have prepared a killer query letter that is burning in your hands, ready to be sent to a full list of agents and/or publishing companies.
You wait five to eight weeks and eventually receive a note saying: “Sorry, not interested”, or “too busy right now”, or “already have a few contracts in this genre”. That is if you receive any response at all. Every once in a while the agent will ask you to send the full manuscript. You get more than excited and start dreaming about your book cover, your back cover picture and book signings around the world!
Weeks pass and you are afraid to call because they might get upset and reject you even if they were interested. You fear the rejection so we continue to wait. The rejection finally arrives and our dreams collapse.
For those who have been there, please know that even renown authors have been rejected on their first try, and many more times after that!
Kathryn Sockett – The Help – 60 times
Pearl S. Buck – The Good Earth – 14 times
Joseph Heller – Catch 22 – 22 times (must be a sign!)
John Grisham – A Time to Kill – 15 publishers and 30 agents (he ended up publishing it himself!)
Chicken Soup for the Soul – 33 times
Dr. Seuss – 24 times
Jack London – 600 times before his first story
The important thing is that all these writers kept trying and kept writing.
However, the options over the last ten years have grown exponentially. Self-publishing, among other options, is now available to anybody with access to basic technology. Moreover, many of our famous classic writers self-published and marketed their books out of the trunk of their car or off the back of the horse carriage. Here are a few of them:
Edgar Allen Poe
Henry David Thoreau
William E.B. DuBois
Should you decide this may be the route you take with your work, you follow in the footsteps of some of our greatest authors. Just know that whichever path you choose, you can always transit back to one of the other paths, and soon we may have even more options as our world expands faster and farther than we can imagine.
Source of information: Dona Lee Gould – “Plotting Success”