How To Take Rejections Like A Pro

By on July 3, 2020

Book rejections aren't fun for any writer, but learning from them is essential. Here are some helpful tips to help you take rejections like a pro.

Understand why your book was rejected

There are several reasons why an agent might reject your book:

It's not good enough

This is, by far, the most common problem. To find out if this is the reason why you can try to be realistic with yourself, go back and re-read your work to decide where perhaps you have let yourself down. Alternatively, get feedback from honest friends or turn to professionals to gain a real perspective.

It's not commercial enough

Agents and publishers need to believe a book will sell. To take it on, they invest thousands of dollars, so they need to be sure they will recoup all that and make a profit on your book to be worthwhile for them to represent it. To find out if your book isn't commercial enough, take a look at the current marketplace to understand the kinds of popular stories and be honest about whether your idea is really that unique. 

This is not the right agent or publisher

Sometimes, no matter how great your book or perfect you pitch, you've simply sent it to the wrong person. If this is the case, you were never going to get the 'yes' you've hoped for. This is actually the most favorable type of rejection, as all you need to do is conduct better research next time. 

Now it's time to move forward

Moving forward depends on discovering why your book what rejected in the first place. If it was not good enough, you need to rework it, get professional help, or go back to the drawing board altogether. If it's not commercial enough, you might have to wait until interests change or start with a new idea or self-publish. If it's because you have sent it to the wrong agent, it's time to do your research and pitch to another one. 

Create a shortlist of agents that specifically desire the kind of genre your book is written in. Then spend some serious time perfecting your pitch. Fine-tuning your book proposal can help give you a better chance of success, so it is worth spending the time it takes to make it the very best possible standard. 

Having your book rejected is an undoubtedly difficult and often painful experience. However, take heart that all published writers will experience rejection at some point in their careers. Even well established and successful authors have their new ideas rejected - it really is just part and parcel of this kind of work. 

If your book has been rejected, try to find out why, do an honest assessment of your book, readjust your publishing goals, and remember to take your time. Learn from every rejection you receive, and you'll know for sure that you'll have a better chance of success next time you try. 

About Beth Cadman

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