Tuesday, February 22, 2011
It is my honor to introduce you all to a dear friend of mine. He's definitely one of a kind, but no one can hold a candle to the size of this guy's heart. He writes YA/MG fantasy novels and causes all around mayhem within our critique group. Ladies and gents, without further ado, Mr. Kurt Chambers!
First, can I just say, thank you so much, Ralene, for inviting me as a guest on your blog. It’s a real honour. Now I have to think of something to talk about. I’m currently in the process of submitting my fantasy novel, Truth Teller, so the first thing at the forefront of my mind is the dreaded ‘rejection letter.’ Dum, dum, dummmm! Yes, I know it’s not the nicest subject to talk about, but one all us writers have to face quite a lot.
How do you deal with rejection?
I think rejection is something that affects people in different ways depending on what stage in publishing game you are. I remember the first time I submitted my first novel. How exciting it was! I was so green, I knew absolutely nothing. Then, after checking my email every hour for the next few weeks, I finally got my reply. I quote…
Dear Mr Kurt Chambers.
We would like to thank you for submitting your material to our agency. After careful consideration, I am pleased to tell you we would like to offer you representation with our agency. Please find a copy of our contract attached to this email.
Yes, the first ever novel I wrote, and the first ever submission I sent, and I get offered a contract. I knew I was good, but that even surprised me! What were the chances of that happening? It was that very question that started alarm bells ringing in my head, what WERE the chances of that happening? Unfortunately, they turned out to be a bogus company after I did more research. A good lesson for all of us; always do your homework.
I’ve spoken to a few newbie authors that were actually pleased to receive a rejection letter. That always makes me laugh. I can remember feeling like that myself. The novelty soon wears off, trust me.
The biggest mistake I made when starting out was submitting before I was ready. I sent out blanket submissions to all the top agents and soon gained a big pile of rejection letters. I’m sure every up-and-coming author is guilty of this when starting out. It’s actually quite damaging. Every time you are rejected by someone, that’s your lot. It’s over! If you want to submit anything else to that agency or publisher, you have to write a new novel.
My advice to any new authors who are considering submitting: don’t be too hasty. Make sure your manuscript is as good as it can be. Tackle the dreaded synopsis and get a good critic group to look at it. And most importantly, have a killer query letter that will grab their attention right from the off. Easier said than done, I know, but your manuscript will not even be read if you don’t get your query just perfect.
To all those writers out there that have been rejected more times than they care to think about, I would just like to remind you that rejection comes for many different reasons. Way too many for me to list here in this blog. The least likely reason for rejection is because they didn’t like your work. Never take a rejection personally. If you are being rejected time and time again, take another look at your query letter. Consider writing another one. Read the many articles of advice you can find on the internet, then try again. After ten rejections, do this all over again.
Rejection sucks, but it’s something we all have to deal with. Never let it put you off or get you down. It only takes one acceptance and you’re off and running! Every successful author will tell you, the key to success is to never give up. Don’t let rejection erode your confidence, it’s just part of the game. I wish you all the luck in the world. You’re going to need it! Hahahaha! *evil laugh*