Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rejection

I wrote a book.

It's a novel. 95,000 words, in its current revision. I've been working hard on it for about a year, based on an idea and outline I started about ten years ago. I'm really proud of it, which means I'm very sensitive about it. Right now I'm very torn: I desperately want people to read it, because I want someone else's opinion about it, but I'm terrified to have anyone read it, because then I would have someone's opinion about it.

What if it's no good?

What if everybody thinks it's just a rip-off of Twilight? It's not, but I'm realistic: it deals with the supernatural, including vampires. I flatter myself that I've put a truly nerdy spin on it: D&D aficionados, should they tear themselves away from their Tolkein, will be pleased.

What if they read it, and I see the "poor Deb, don't hurt her feelings" look in their eyes?

Let me tell you: whenever you are having a crisis of self-esteem, turn to the entertainment industry. I can't tell you how I have been affected by the deluge of responses I have received from the literary establishment.

Phrases like, "didn't capture my interest," "not what we're looking for," and "parakeet-cage lining" have cropped up surprisingly often.

Okay, not the last one. But the others, yes. They are all very polite. They all wish me all the luck in the world. They all tell me they hope I find representation. I understand, from what I read, that even receiving responses to e-mail queries is somewhat rare, so maybe I should be flattered by their rejection.

I'm not feeling it.

The unexpected side effect: I'm finding, as each rejection comes in, I no longer care as much. I'm starting another book, a spin-off of the first, centering around one of the characters in the first book, and I'm getting excited about that. I'm thinking I'll give it another couple of tries, send out a couple more batches of queries, and then I'll just put the darned thing on Amazon, and self-publish. I am not interested in spending the rest of my life in an endless cycle of hope and rejection. After all, some of my family members, and maybe one or two of my friends might buy a copy. That would be neat.

I promise I won't hold it against you if you don't buy one. Much.
Edited to add, after reading your comments: See the top link on my right sidebar for my new book blog. I will begin publishing installments, if you guys want to read it.

6 comments:

The Domestic Flunky said...

You were brave enough to send it out in the firstplace! Awesome. I think you should post it chapter by chapter. Seriously. I'd love to read it. One more reason that you are one of my heros. Which is a big big compliment. Not even Orpah makes THAT list.

Barbaloot said...

You could always post installments on your blog...then as you gradually gain a HUGE following of people tuning in, some publisher's gonna be like, "I have to publish this for her!" and you'll be good to go:)

Boy Mom said...

Ohh, Ohh, I want to read it. I'm a really great liar and promise to wear sunglasses so you can't see the look in my eyes. Plus there's the 1,492 or something miles between us.

I LOVE your writing I bet it's a great book. I'm already excited for the sequel.

Joanna said...

I, as the mother of genius, have been privileged to hear a thorough description of the above book. It's great! I can't wait to read it! (And I'm not kidding, lying or babying!) Keep going, Deb. It's worth it!

Kristina P. said...

I know someone who is looking for a job. If you pay my husband $3,000, he will tell you it's awesome.

bluecottonmemory said...

Way to go! Don't give up. Keep sending! I think the writing is the easy part, the letter sending is the tough part. Did you buy a writers market guide? I did with my childrens book because about 18 years ago, I sent a childrens book out to the wrong publishers. I received the most encouraging rejections--how they loved it, showed it to their editor, but published school books.

My birthday present to myself last year was to resubmit. I bought the children's book market and reviewed each publisher that looked like a good fit. I also prayed a lot--I don't mean that tongue-in-cheek. I did! I got a lot of rejections, then one that said "We love it. Cut it down, send it back and by the way send anything else you got." Then they got bought by a bigger publisher. They are just now getting back to reviewing those requests.

Never give up on your dream!