HOW TO . . . WIN AT REJECTION
Please welcome “Guest Jane” Annie Rains to the blog! Annie and I are Agent Sisters and I’m super excited about her December 1st debut from Randomhouse’s Loveswept imprint. WELCOME TO FOREVER features a military single dad hero and a school principal heroine. You can already tell there’s going to be some sparks flying, right? 🙂
How to…Win at Rejection
Yes, you read this blog post title correctly. Now let me explain. This whole author game isn’t like football or soccer, but more like a long distance race. And it’s not for the faint of heart. I should know. It took me six plus years to reach the “finish line,” which I always thought was becoming agented and signing a book contract. That was just the first quarter, though (football anyone?).
During those first six years that I was writing, sending off queries, and collecting rejections, I realized there was a secret language of rejections. My first rejections from agents began as form-type rejections. They weren’t personalized, just a big, fat “no.” If I was lucky, I got a “no, thank you.” But then something wonderful happened. I started to get personalized rejections from agents, telling me why they were rejecting my material. That told me that the agent considering my work thought I had potential.
I held on to that shred of hope, and kept running. Or, as Dory would say, “Just keep swimming.” (I know, I’m mixing up all the sports.)
So I wrote faster, worked harder and (pay attention because this is key in winning at rejection) I took the constructive criticism from the personalized rejections and applied it to my work. Check your ego at the door and be willing to make changes.
Then I got the gold-star of rejections—a revise and resubmit.
There it was! The finish line was in sight. All I had to do was make the proposed changes and resubmit. Voila! Right? . . . Wrong! I rushed through my edits on that first R & R, eager for someone to say yes to me. I couldn’t wait for that to happen. And, in my rushing, I flubbed the ball (back to football). I only did one pass through with edits and resubmitted in one week’s time, naively thinking that would show the agent that I’m fast. Naively thinking that said agent was sitting somewhere behind a desk, tapping her fingers, and impatiently waiting for my revisions.
So I got another rejection. And because I never seem to learn my lessons the first time, I repeated the same scenario. Hard-earned lesson: Take your time and offer up your best product. This is true when you’re in the querying stage and afterward, when you have your shiny agent and brand new publisher.
Moving on, I attended my first RWA conference and started to make my first contacts with publishing people. I started putting faces to the faceless names I’d been submitting to for years. During that first conference I met several agents and discussed my book(s) with them. Most were genuinely interested and asked to see my work. So when I got home I carefully prepared my submissions, making sure the work I offered up was my absolute best, and pressed SEND.
Anddddddddd . . . Wait for it . . . .
I got more rejections. BUT I’d made a connection and I knew I could use that connection to my advantage. I wrote another manuscript and personalized my query to remind those connections of our meeting and their interest. I had a foot in the door and I wasn’t about to let it close without a fight. Because, after six years I was ready. Primed.
And that’s when I got it. The Call! Insert happy dancing and champagne! Fireworks!
And then my shiny new agent and I went on submission with my book, and the rejection started again. What I’ve learned, though, is that every rejection is just one step closer to someone saying yes. It’s a landmark, a hurdle, whatever you want to call it, but it’s most definitely not a stop sign. Quitting is the only way you lose.
So, go forth, gather your rejections like patches of honor and never give up.
Annie Rains is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors. She’s represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA).
In Seaside, North Carolina, there are two kinds of people: Marines, and kids of Marines. Then there’s Kat Chandler. Recently hired as the principal of Seaside Elementary, Kat makes it her mission to turn the school into a place of peace and calm. That’s not going to be easy with hard-liner parents like Micah Peterson storming in, telling her how to do her job—and then kissing her with those gorgeous lips of his and turning her brain into mush.
As a Marine Sergeant and a single dad, Micah Peterson has just two priorities: doing his job better than anyone else, and getting the absolute best for his son, Ben. But when he meets Ben’s beautiful new principal, a different yearning shifts into focus. He wants her, sure, but he’s also moved by the connection Kat forges with her students. So after learning that she refuses to date Marines, Micah sets two more objectives: convincing Kat to give him a chance . . . and then holding on to her forever.
Get Your Very Own Copy of WELCOME TO FOREVER
Posted on November 16, 2015, in Auth: Special Guest and tagged Annie Rains, Loveswept, Military Romance, Randomhouse, rejection, Single Dad Hero, Welcome to Forever. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.