Saturday, April 16, 2011
N is for Negative Marketing Reports
When I first started submitting, I received a LOT of rejection letters. I still get them now. Got one Thursday night as a matter of fact. And while they still aren't the most fun things I've ever gotten in the mail, I don't let 'em get to me like I used to.
Someone, and I don't remember who, once called rejection letters, Negative Marketing Reports. And when we get right down to it, that's what they are. The market we submitted to, can't use what we offered them. For whatever reason, maybe they had one similar not long ago, maybe the editor doesn't like cat stories and there's a cat in yours, or even something as simple as the tone isn't quite right for their publication, it's not us they are rejecting. There's nothing personal involved. Sure, it feels like it sometimes but we have to realize publishing is a business, especially to publishers.
Another writer friend of mine once equated it with selling apples. You have the prettiest, shiny red apples. They are practically a work of art. Thing is, the buyers are buying oranges that day. It doesn't mean anything is wrong with your apples. Just means that's not what the buyer is wanting. Just go find another buyer who wants apples.
One of the first rejection letters I received was the cover letter to a story with the words "I really don't like this." scrawled across it. There was no signature, nothing. Just those five little words. I tossed that one in the trash.
I think my favorite rejection letter is the one that says my story was enjoyable reading, thanks for letting them see it but that it didn't fit any of the spaces they had open at the time. This one is signed by the editor, has the title of my story and is actually addressed to me. I've saved it. One of these days, I'll try something with that editor again.
So, what's your worst or best rejection letter? Don't name names though. And what do you do with 'em after you get 'em read?