Bring on the Rejection Letters

Late in 2005, almost three years after I wrote the first draft, the members of my writing group told me it was time to send out my novel manuscript, already. Any further fiddling with it should be at the hands of an editor who wanted to publish it. I did a quick final polish, wrote my first query letter (like a cover letter for a resume) and sent out the first ten pages to an editor I met a few years ago at a conference. That was a few weeks ago. It might take as long as six months to get a reply, which I know from listening to experienced, published writers is likely to be a rejection. I already have the next publisher picked out so that the turnaround time should be brief. But the process has begun. I know it’s likely to be long and discouraging, and I think I’m prepared. I’ve unearthed the draft of my second novel, and it sits accusingly in my office, waiting. I’ll try not to let it gather dust.

For those of you wondering about sending straight to an editor and not using an agent, my novel is for the young adult market. Most agents are wary of taking on unpublished writers of YA novels, since the money is much less than for “adult” books. Many children’s book publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts or query letters with ten-page samples directly from authors, so that is the method I’m using for now.

3 Responses to “Bring on the Rejection Letters”

  1. V Says:

    Good luck!

  2. kirk Says:

    Good luck, GD(K)!

    Question: What is the constraint to sending a manuscript to, say, 10 publishers at once?

  3. girldetective Says:

    Good question, and one that I found out early on when I started taking workshops at the Loft Literary Center, which is a great resource for writers in the Twin Cities. Sending out multiple queries at once is not recommended. What a writer is trying to do is to establish a connection with an editor. Unless a writer states in the query letter that s/he has sent it to multiple publishers, the assumption by an editor that the query is exclusive. While it’s time consuming to send, wait, send, it’s the best way to forge a potential one-on-one relationship with an editor. Also, it’s considered presumptuous by new, unpublished authors to send out multiple queries–it indicates a high level of confidence in one’s book that is usually unwarranted in the crowded, competitive world of publishing.