Monday, September 14, 2009

Rejections Happen On Friday and Other Nonsense

I have a project out in the world and the rejections are beginning to roll in. The first three all arrived in my in-box on Friday morning. And so last Friday with all the conviction in the world I thought to myself:

Rejections happen on Friday. Of course they do. That makes perfect sense. They take the week to read and then Friday morning they sit down with a cup of coffee and a stack of heartbreak to dish out and they send out the rejections.

And I added that little nugget of information to the other nuggets of information I had about the ever-mysterious publishing industry. It took a few hours before I realized what an idiot I was. I am so desperate to make sense of this business that I'm all too ready to declare rules out of the tiny coincidences or overheard tidbits that I experience.

I feel like an Ancient Greek looking up at the blazing sun and thinking - of course that's a fiery chariot! Pulled by a golden god - that's what Maureen told me and Sinead said she saw him one night. Must be true!

Because so much of publishing is truly subjective (every single rejection said - I just didn't love it enough,) we want there to be reasons or rules. And because we all totally love our work we need there to be reasons other than someone else not feeling as passionately. We want outside factors, concrete things we can point to and say - yep, that's why my book didn't sell, and all those rejections came in on Friday.

So, what are some of the things you think you know, or know you don't know - or wish you knew about that blazing chariot - I mean publishing Industry?


Alli said...

Oh, Molly. So sorry to hear about your R's. They suck severely. Today is Monday, so here's hoping things change for you!

I know enough about the publishing industry to know I don't know squat in the grand scheme of things. :-) But what I do know is it moves at a glacial pace, it's subjective, a lot of luck is involved (right story at the right time) and not everyone is going to love my MS. I don't think this knowledge makes things easier. Doesn't make it harder, either. It just is, I guess.

The one thing I cling to, which has no scientific basis whatsoever but keeps me sane is this: everyone has a golden number of queries sent at which they will get a YES. It may be 4,214,243 or 7or 894. The problem is, no one knows their number so they need to keep querying on their current, or future MS until they get to that number. Just a thought...

Good luck on those queries, Molly. I'll be joining you in query-land later this month. Oh, the joy. :-P

Kimber Chin said...

I got a rejection this past Friday (trying a genre I don't normally write in) so it MUST be true.

Hugs about your rejection
but the way I see it,
if your work doesn't get rejected
every once in a while,
that means you aren't stretching
and trying different things.

Or at least that's what I tell myself.

Stephanie Doyle said...


You're completley wrong about Fridays. I know this because I got two rejections on Thursday.

Things I know about publishing....

...........(birds chirping in background)...... (silence continues)..... Nope.

Nothing. I know nothing about publishing other than getting rejected sucks.

Sorry about yours...

Anonymous said...

I've read that the "truth" is - rejections, like everything else sucky in life, will happen when you're down, when you're up, when you least expect it, when you're looking for it the most. But the good stuff happens then, too.

Rejection of any kind hurts. Hugs to you!

Eileen said...

I have a friend out here in California who sometimes calls me at 2:00 on Fridays to celebrate that the Rejection Factory (as she calls New York) is closed. Drinking often ensues.

And I know nothing. The more I'm in the business, the less I know. On a happy note, though, a friend told me that there was some kind of study done that said that there's an inverse relationship between how smart a person is and what they think they know. So the fact that we think we know nothing means we're all freaking geniuses.

Let's drink to that!

out of the wordwork said...

Molly: Hugs.

Fridays should be TGIF. Not WTF ??

Isn't there a famous quote that says "Nobody knows anything" ? Sometimes that can apply to publishers that reject our work.

Onwards, baby.

Sinead M said...

Sucks, sucks, sucks... you need a drink.

I loved the Porn king so much. This business is so incredibly subjective, it's difficult to understand why certain decisions get made.

Kwana said...

First, Sorry about the rejections. They suck.

I also know they come mostly any day. Not sure about Sunday have to check my inbox but probably they do. Definitely late at night. I've gotten they midnight rejection. That was harsh.

I know "I just didn't love it enough" tells you nothing. Also "It just wasn't for me" say's about the same thing.

What I do know is I won't know what will sell until I do sell. I won't know someone really likes it until they buy it. That's about all I know. Nothing much.

Stephanie Doyle said...

My favorite reject line has always been the ever ambiguous...

"I just wasn't enthusiastic enough..."

Enthusiasm - VERY IMPORTANT in publishing. You gotta have it. There that's one thing I know.

I read "I'm not enthusiastic..." I interpret... "You really suck as a writer... why do you think you can sell any books?"


Maureen McGowan said...

We need to drink tonight, Molly.

And you know me, I try to come up with rules and patterns and truisms all the time, but keep coming back to "it's a roulette wheel".

Molly O'Keefe said...

Hey -- you guys are so sweet -- I didn't post this in an effort to get sympathy because believe it or not - I'm really not too bothered. That's nuts isn't it? I've been doing this long enough that the rejection doesn't upset me - one of the letters was actually very good. As far as rejections go.

What does bother me is how this business plays on the worst of me - my insecurities and jealousy my incredibly supersitious nature. Alli - I like your theory - we just need to wait until our number.
Porn king's not dead, Sinead. he's just wounded.

Eileen said...

Ooh ooh! My favorite rejection was one where the person said that s/he liked the story and my voice, but couldn't offer representation at that time. Then s/he said that if I had anything else, I should send it. I couldn't figure out what to send. Something where s/he wouldn't like the story and the voice?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...