My first official rejection!

Cast your minds back, if you will, to a couple of posts I wrote almost exactlyΒ a year ago! Those posts were about the Harper Voyager open submission.

I did not expect to be selected – I mean, c’mon, what major publisher was going to spend money on a book populated with psychopathic hermaphrodites and absolutely no people? Nonetheless, making the effort was something I had to do to overcome my own fear of rejection. I am really proud of myself for breaking through that particular barrier.

When I did not hear anything from Harper Voyager after three months, I published Vokhtah myself. So the only thing I lost by submitting to a trad. publisher was the three months I spent waiting around, ‘just in case I won the lottery’.

To say I’m astounded to hear from Harper Voyager now is an understatement. The communique is a form email only, but I think I’ll have it framed anyway :

***

Thank you very much for providing us with the chance to read your novel. We are sorry to say that at this time we don’t feel it is right for the Harper Voyager list.
Due to the volume of submissions we were fortunate enough to receive, we are unable to provide personal feedback, however, please be assured that your work received thorough and fair consideration.
We wish you the best of luck with your writing career, and thank you again for thinking of us.

***

Now, as at August 29th 2013, I can quite honestly say I have been rejected. And I’m still smiling. πŸ™‚

cheers

Meeks

Advertisements

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

27 responses to “My first official rejection!

  • Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB)

    Argh! I still have never sent anything of mine in, other than a couple of contests back in college (which I won). The thought of rejection is so scary, so I think I’m avoiding it. Although, I’ve just signed-up to be an intern with a literary journal. So soon I will be reading 20-30 stories a week. All in all, they see 3,000 submissions a year. I hope to learn a lot about my own tastes by doing this, plus then I will be more apt to decide which journals I should be trying to send some stories to. Congrats on your first rejection πŸ˜‰

    Like

  • EllaDee

    What can I say but congratulations. Submitting work is like learning to walk, riding a bike/horse and falling in love. You need to have the courage to give it a go, knowing falling down a few times will give you the opportunity to hone your skills to right yourself again. I’d frame the letter… I have been rejected, therefore I am πŸ™‚

    Like

    • acflory

      -giggles- I’m hopeless on a horse, and not much better on a bicycle but I’ve had lots of practice at the falling in love thing so rejections should be a breeze. πŸ˜‰ Seriously, I’m astounded by just how cool I am with this whole thing.

      Like

  • Candy Korman

    When I was a very young β€” and very naive β€” writer, I submitted stories to all sorts of literary magazines. Eventually, I focused on genre outlets. Between the two, I amassed quite a collection of rejections. Some were form letters and some were closer to useful feedback. Getting a handwritten note on the form letter was something to celebrate. After a while I realized that even “Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine” (I won one of their mini story contests) would rather publish a name author’s story over mine because it would help them sell copies.

    We pay our dues and play our cards.

    Fortunately, we can now go indie/electronic and not face the old “vanity” stigma.

    Like

    • acflory

      Gah… you won one of their contests and still??? -shakes head-

      Of all the things I’ve read about trad. publishing to date, that is possibly the most disheartening. Despite all I now know, I think there’s a part of me that still remembers Jo’s Boys? [Louisa May Alcott] and the way publishers were portrayed there. Or just 30 years ago the way Dirk Bogarde portrayed his publisher in his memoirs. They were out there, once.

      Like

  • Stephanie Allen Crist

    Perfect attitude! I remember the first time (we’re talking short stories now) I got a form rejection with a hand-written note. It was just a few words, “Almost there!”

    I was dancing on air for a week.

    The point isn’t that we get rejected. The point is that we try and we keep trying and we find ways to do it ourselves when we’re ready. πŸ˜‰ You were ready!

    Like

  • Jim Sellers

    Hot off the boiler plate. I have several of those, just change the name of the publisher, the words are identical. Try this fun game next time: send out 3 submissions to different publishers and see how fast the rejections come back. My record is 30 minutes.

    Like

  • davidprosser

    The most annoying thing here is knowing that it must have done well in the various selection processes to have taken this long but not to have received a personal reply with a fair critique of the book showing why it didn’t make the final cut. It actually speaks volumes about the quality of your work and more about their manners. The usual excuse for this length of time is that it’s not what the public want, but this time they haven’t said that which might mean their budget wouldn’t cope with trying out a new style- ‘The New Face of Science Fantasy’ as I call you.
    When the public really pick up on the book they’re going to see what those of us who read it saw, it’s unique. They won’t be able to help liking it.
    I’m so glad you’re not disheartened and that you self published anyway.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Like

    • acflory

      Thank you David -hugs- Do you know what makes me happiest? The knowledge that I have done it on my own, and that I’ve managed to reach a lot of people with my weird little book because they /trusted/ my writing enough to get through the hard bits at the beginning. That still astounds me. Vokhtah is not an easy read.

      lol – I should give out those campaign buttons with ‘I finished Vokhtah’ on it. πŸ˜€

      Like

  • Kathryn Chastain Treat

    Of course your smiling. Your book is wonderful and has received great reviews. Their loss.

    Like

  • Honie Briggs

    It says something about a person when they show the courage to put themselves out there, knowing full well the possibility of rejection. I’m inspired by your courage.

    Like

  • Jon Jefferson

    Congrats, you should frame it. In a way it is like making that first dollar in a store.

    Like

  • Tasha Turner

    Congrats on your 1st rejection. You’ve now joined the publishing world with many greats. Can you imagine if you’d continued down the trad route. You would just now be free to send your baby out for its 2nd look over by a publisher instead of being a published author with several works out.

    Like

  • metan

    I like Chris’s thoughts above. My first thought was that they were letting you down gently by taking an entire year to get back to you. πŸ˜‰
    Actually, the fact that they got back to you, even after a year, should be quite heartening. Had it been back in a month would surely mean they hadn’t taken it seriously in the slightest.

    Like

    • acflory

      lol – I don’t really know how these places function but it if was me doing the choosing I’d ‘triage’ all those thousands of entries and deal with the potential survivors first.

      All I really want to know now is which submissions HV actually did pick. That will be the clearest indication of what they were looking for.

      Like

  • Chris James

    Smile on, sister. Both Class Action and Dimension Researcher got their rejections way back in January, and this rejection coming now shows that Vokhtah got some way through their selection process, maybe even to the commissioning editor. That’s the first pat on the back for Vokhtah. The second, oddly enough, is the rejection itself, because it shows that your ideas are original and unique, so much so that HV knows marketing will cost a fortune which they’re not prepared to pay. Any hack can write derivative, commercial throwaway stories, but it takes talent and hard bloody work to be original, and that’s what you are πŸ™‚

    Like

    • acflory

      lol – I think you have that backwards Chris. I suspect the ones they were most interested in got rejected first. Then the ‘maybe if we’re really desperate’ ones. Bottom line though, a rejection is a rejection, whatever their reasons or timing.

      Can you imagine how I would be feeling now if I had been such a delicate flower that I waited a whole year in hope? I think I’d want to be treated a bit better by a potential ’employer’.

      Like

      • Chris James

        Good that you didn’t wait πŸ™‚
        Even trad-published new authors are expected to do their own marketing today, only they won’t have any control over categorisation of their book, the cover design, and most importantly the price. It’s a tough life for trad-published newbies

        Like

        • acflory

          I’ve been reading the Passive Guy blog quite a bit lately and it seems that life is tough for all the midlisters. Maybe that’s why droves of them are embracing self publishing. Aren’t we smart to have gotten in first. πŸ˜‰

          Like

  • jenniferscoullar

    They don’t know what they’re missing! x

    Like

Don't be shy!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: