I’m getting close with ‘Railroaded‘. I’ve been sending it out to be ignored and rejected for nearly 5 years! (Christ! I didn’t know that until I just referred to my submission spreadsheet. That sounds even worse now). I got a couple of requests for the full MS, a few positive words but mainly I got a form rejection.
Here’s the cold hard facts; I submitted to a total of 44 places – 26 agents and 18 publishers. 6 of those agents never replied and 8 publishers didn’t reply.
When do I stop torturing myself?
Good on Donal Ryan who carried on for 47 rejections and is now shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Is it worth me submitting to 4 more places? It only takes one yes.
About 4 months ago a few old university friends and I went on one of those once-in-a-blue-moon Facebook group messaging frenzies, catching up with each other and I told them I’d written a couple of novels. Luckily for me, some of these friends have now grown up to be full-on, professional, experienced, prize winning graphic designers and suggested I self-publish so they can do the cover.
Result! Especially as shit self-published covers is a massive bugbear of mine.
That’s put a totally new perspective on things. I’ve been following this new self-publishing revolution but in the back of my mind hoping…wishing for a good old traditional route into literary stardom…but times have changed. The fact I’m currently submitting my second novel (Broken Branches) and also writing a third (Blindsided) makes this avenue a bit of a no-brainer at the moment.
I’ve now changed my mindset over the past few months. I’ll continue submitting Broken Branches and when the first draft of Blindsided is finished and I need time away from it, I’ll spend a month or two focusing on self-publishing Railroaded. I’m very lucky to have excellent graphic designer mates but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to be marketing a new product but this sounds fun.
The moral of this post? Rejection doesn’t mean the end…and…keep on writing. If I hadn’t written my 2nd or 3rd novels and put all my eggs in the Railroaded basket, I’d be a basket case of depression. But now, I’m a handbag of optimism.
That’s good, I think.