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Rejection, rejection, rejection...

Discussion in 'Traditional Publishing' started by deadrats, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    Apologies for the overly personal post here, but I somewhat suffer from anxiety and tend to be quite pessimistic. Would just like to ask if anyone has ever had issues with publishers not getting back to them? Perhaps laughable that I'm worrying over such a small thing, but I tend to do that. Obviously I've finally got an acceptance, but it's been about 4 days and the editor hasn't got back to me after I sent the contract and told him I was making a few changes to my story. My natural inclination is to imagine he'll vanish without a word for some reason and I'll be back to square one, having withdrawn everything. No reason to assume he'll do that--he liked the story and came to me with the contract--but it's just been a few days already. Months to go until my story would appear, too. Anything could happen. I suppose I just want to ask if this sort of thing does happen to other people. I'm hesitant to even post this, but it helps having people to speak to.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
  2. B.E. Nugent

    B.E. Nugent Senior Member

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    As with many instances of anxiety, you've answered your own query. You have a singular point of interest with that publisher. The publisher has a magazine to arrange. Things that are already sorted tend to slip down the priority list and it's only been 4 days. They have an iteration of the story they want, so maybe hold off on suggesting changes unless it's with their consent. Then, hould yer whisht, give it a reasonable amount of time and check in with the publication if a couple of weeks go by. Congrats again. What I'm suggesting is what I imagine I might do should the need ever arise.
     
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  3. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    Thanks. I really need to get my anxieties under control, especially these days. Always expecting the worst isn't great. Surprisingly, I asked the editor when his emails first came through if he wanted me to change anything and he said it was all fine, that it was my story so I could change it however I liked. From there I said I'd just make minor fixes for grammatical oddities and whatnot, nothing big. Yes, I suppose I'll just have to wait. I need to send the final thing at some point (he said there's no rush at all) so hopefully that will kickstart things again if things really do go quiet.

    Edit: I forgot to address that "hould yer whisht". I can't remember if I've ever advertised that I'm Scottish, but I might be the only person who understands that, haha. It's "haud" though!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
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  4. B.E. Nugent

    B.E. Nugent Senior Member

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    Hould in Ireland though.:)
     
  5. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    Honestly, I'd no idea that was a shared bit of dialect. I don't recall the Irish saying things like:
    -Ah dinnae ken
    -Ah wisnae
    -geeze yin eh them

    Odd! But I suppose we originally came from Ireland/had extremely close ties.
     
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  6. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A 46-day form rejection from Copper Nickel.
     
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  7. Native Ink

    Native Ink Member

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    Honestly, I've felt like this before. You'll be fine. Once you reach a new stage in the publication process, a pause in communication is pretty typical before the next stage begins. Things only speed up if the editor feels they are pushing against a deadline.
     
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  8. alw86

    alw86 Active Member

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    First rejection received, almost exactly 48 hours after submission. I can't say I'm wholly surprised by this one. It's the agency who reps my absolute favourite author in my genre, so I had my heart set on querying them, but I had also noticed that they seemed to be moving away from that type of thing as a whole. Still sucks, though.
     
  9. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    I knew my story The Gate wouldn't be accepted by The Common Tongue, but I'm surprised to have received about four paragraphs of criticism and some pretty good praise. Not a form rejection at all, it seems. They said the story just wasn't strong enough. I'll agree with that. I was doing a Dunsay-esque ideas piece. The writing was apparently top notch, if a little ornate. When I wrote this I was much too influenced by the kind of archaic style prevalent in Tolkien and Dunsany, as well as the darker aspects of Clark Ashton Smith. The odd thing is that they seemed to assume I'm a new writer. I'd only said I had no previous writing credits, which is still technically true since I'm obviously waiting on Black Petals getting back to me. I went for The Common Tongue as they favour dark high fantasy and my story has elements of that. To be honest, I just wanted to see what they'd say since I'm no longer doing that style but feel it has some potential nonetheless.

    It was a solid piece that has extreme potential.

    Edit: Just out of interest, do you guys record every rejection you get here or only ones that you had high hopes for? I don't post every rejection I get here as I'd probably start clogging the place up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
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  10. Woodstock Writer

    Woodstock Writer Senior Member

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    I post all my rejections here but I don’t have a lot of time to get loads of them.
     
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  11. Native Ink

    Native Ink Member

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    If you don't have a publication track record, you'll be considered a new writer even if you've been working at it for years.
     
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  12. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Think about those 'overnight success' bands like Van Halen, who all had to grind hard for 10 years doing little shows in bars and strange venues before they were able to cut their first album. They lived their salad days for a long time. Kansas lived all in one band house and each only had a dollar a day to live on for a long time.
     
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  13. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    They should have stayed there.
     
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  14. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. Watson Watson

    Watson Watson Member

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    83-day rejection from Tahoma Literary Review

    80-day rejection from Cutbank

    Same story, one personalized (apparently shortlisted), one higher tier. The story is still out in a few other places, so here’s hoping.
     
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  16. Watson Watson

    Watson Watson Member

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    I am a little selective with posting rejections for the same reason—I get a lot. I write a lot, too, and follow that advice of aiming for 100+ rejections a year. My success rate is about 1-2%, which seems ok, all things considered.


    Edit: I should also add that my success rate was 0% for about 2 years.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
  17. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I list all my rejections and smile for each acceptance. That's just the way I've always done it pretty much.
     
  18. Zeppo595

    Zeppo595 Contributor Contributor

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    This is cool in your 20's, maybe acceptable in your 30's, but you can't keep doing that into your 50's.

    It also encourages the myth of success - that everyone who keeps trying will make it if they just push themselves hard enough. Not true since we simply don't hear the stories of people who lived like that who died as lonely miserable failures.
     
  19. Native Ink

    Native Ink Member

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    Fortunately it is easier to have a day job as a writer. No late nights in clubs (unless you're there for fun).
     
  20. Watson Watson

    Watson Watson Member

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    As far as success is concerned, there’s plenty of space between rock star and miserable failure, and I would argue that a greater myth centers on the belief that being the best or number one is the only demonstrable measure of success. There’s also the fact that success is very unlikely unless you grind away and make the attempt. It’s true that stories of miserable failures don’t make the rounds, but it’s also possible that people don’t turn into miserable failures when they fall short of their goals—they simply move on.
     
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  21. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I haven't heard that one. The way I know it, if you have the talent, develop the skills and push hard enough, you might make it. But then, how to define making it? Does it require financial rewards? Fame? Or just being published now and then?

    To continue my analogy, I've heard many rock stars say when they were young they didn't go out and play with the other kids, they stayed home and practiced almost fanatically. They got made fun of and called anti-social and all kinds of things, but then when they become famous those same people started saying "Hey, I went to school with that guy!"

    Of course lots of people did the same and amounted to nothing. It's a mix of genes, drive, desire to learn, and luck. But one factor of success is a resilient attitude and willingness to push hard through the obstacles.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  22. Native Ink

    Native Ink Member

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    Also, writers take longer to develop than other artists. The ancient Greeks noticed that it takes writers at least ten years of working on their art before they reach their prime. On the other hand, it is possible to be a great musician, painter, or actor in your teens or early twenties.
     
  23. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    They probably did work on their skills for 10 years. The musicians I'm thinking of trained hard from the age of like 7 or so.
     
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  24. alw86

    alw86 Active Member

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    Maybe it's more a case of it takes writers, especially writers of longer pieces, more time to get through their first (usually lousy) attempts? You can write a lot of crappy first songs in the time it takes to write one crappy first novel.

    Back on topic, second rejection received today. Not sure if it's personalised or whether her form rejection has just changed slightly. The one I got is identical to one someone posted online from the same agent except for the last line, which is encouraging about what I sent and says she'd be very happy to read anything I write in the future. I don't think there's any way of knowing for sure which it is, so I am choosing to hope she means it.

    Two down, sixteen outstanding for this round.
     
  25. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    Yup. One of the few skills that gets better with age. Most writers don't hit their stride until their 40s-50s anyway.
     
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