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The Truth About Rejections

September 22, 2017


We've had loads of truly fantastic submissions, and we're honoured by that, but as we work through them, we are inevitably having to send rejections (which we hate doing). We therefore offer you: 


You enter a bookshop with only enough money to buy one book. You face an entire shelf of possibilities. You bypass certain genres, they are not to your taste. You skim over certain sub-genres because you know you personally will not enjoy them, meanwhile six or seven other people are buried nose deep in these areas, they can’t get enough.


Having browsed for a while, you finally find your niche, but your heart bleeds as you curl your fingers around the small amount in your pocket. There are five novels you love, but you can only afford one. You have to pick. Short of selling your kidney, which you might actually need in order to read your book, you can only have one!


Deciding to keep your kidney (wise choice), you pick one and walk away, rejecting four novels you love, and a whole shelf of books you know others will love, but are just not for you.


The next day you walk into the same bookstore with again just enough money for one book. This time, however, you are not buying the book for yourself. You need a book for that eccentric aunt you have, the one who smells funny and loves doilies for some bizarre reason.You personally want to buy the story with the zombie sneering at you on the cover, however you know she’s going to hate that. She’ll tell your mum and you’ll get a thick ear and THE lecture. Nope. Nobody wants that. You have to buy the book with a pink cover that’s all about cupcakes. You don’t care for it, but she is going to love it, and we’re very sorry, but you’re going to get a sloppy kiss. Better than a thick ear … just.


This is the truth behind rejections. Often the editorial pot of gold is small and most publishers target a very specific market niche. They are buying for that eccentric aunt and they don’t want a thick ear and (we know it’s selfish but) they also want their kidney.This is why it’s so important to research the niche your story fits and research the places you choose to submit to. No matter how hard you try, you’re never going to fit a watermelon into a peapod. Research to find out what the editors want. There’s no better way to do that than to read some of what they buy. Does your story fit that mould? If not, that’s no problem, but you have to find a mould it does fit (or perhaps even break) elsewhere. The moral: sometimes we have something great, but sadly it just doesn’t star a cupcake.


Or there’s the other side of the penny. Your story rocks. It’s awesome. It has everything we are looking for. It’s about giant cupcakes that squashed that pesky aunt. We love it, but in reality we need a new pair of shoes, there’s a hole in our sock, and we already bought our treats for the month. Fresh out of options, we wipe a tear from our eye as we send out the rejection note, knowing someone else is going to land that piece of gold.


Therefore we finish by saying …


Keep writing, keep believing, and keep Feeding Your Monster!

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