Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Good Morning from Joyce.

I’ve been thinking about rejections this morning, especially since I’ve received three already this week. And yet, I’ve received some good news too, proposals going to committee, a publisher reconsidering a book that he turned down. All in the course of the work that we do here at Hartline Literary Agency. I know rejections are disheartening, they are for all of us, and believe me we get our share of them.

And then again, we get a good share of offers for publishing.

Here is an explanation from an editor of a rejection that I got yesterday:

“However, the basic reason we reject most of the proposals that we look at is that we decide, for a variety of reasons, that we won’t be able to sell enough copies of the book to make it a good business decision. That touches on the topic, the audience, the size of the audience, whether the audience in question is likely to buy a book on the topic (or would they be more likely to get their data off the Internet), the other books that are already out there on the same topic, and so forth.

All of this (and more) comes into play with every proposal we look at. If we don’t feel that we can move large numbers in year 1, with low returns, we don’t go after a book no matter how much we might like it personally.”

I hope this will help you to understand the business of publishing a little better. Rejections are not necessarily personal.

We all have to realize that publishing is a business, an expensive business. For many publishers it is also a ministry. However, those companies have salaries to pay, utilities to keep on, upkeep on buildings, etc. They have to make a profit to stay in business and publish the books they do buy.

Keep on writing and don’t get discouraged when you get rejections. Well, you can get discouraged a little while, but then get up and write some more. One well-known author wrote eight books before he got one sold. As I’ve said before it takes consistence and perseverance.

May you all have a wonderful day, encourage one another and write for His glory.

In His service,


Kristie Jackson said...

Thank you for this. I believe I'm making a slow march toward publication, learning a great deal on the way, but I need to be reminded daily that it is not personal and that perseverance is key.

Diana said...

Joyce this such a great explanation of what we all are up against. I am going to direct my authors and author friends to this today. Thank you.

Loree Lough said...

Good advice and an excellent lesson, Joyce. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us here.

Blessings to all who read this, and may it help us better understand what's expected of us in this wild and wacky world of writing!

Big warm hugs,

Jeanette Levellie said...

Joyce: Whereas we deal with rejections for our work only, you must grapple with those from many authors. I admire you for the work you do.

Many years ago a friend asked, "How quickly you recover from rejection and move on to the next possible victory shows the depth of your committment." I like that.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I mean a friend said, not asked. Now I need an editor for my blog comments!

Diana said...

Jeanette; I think I am going to steal your friends comment. That should tweet well!

Anonymous said...

In some ways this is good - it forces those of us who persevere to trust the Lord and continue to improve our craft. Since I have started working with Diana I have taken 2 DVD courses, read two additional books on writing and, thanks to Diana read works of fiction I would never have otherwise read - and picked up a crit partner. If I had been signed as a "midlist", I would probably have stayed a "midlist". Thanks for the encouragement and blessings for your back.

Max Lewis

Caroline said...

What a great post & reminder that we can't take it personally, altho (grin) it's hard not to sometimes. I still remember the comment that your boss said about you, Joyce: Persistent & consistent. That's the key, I think.

Blessings for sharing.
Carole B

Nicole L Rivera said...

Amen. Never quit. Quitter's always fail. Stay persistent and consistent :)

Gina said...


What a lot it says about you that you took the time away from the business of business to talk to our hearts on this.

I haven't had the "pleasure" of publisher rejection yet, but your letter made me less afraid of it, and encouraged me to polish it off again so that my first shot is my very, very best.

Thank you so much for that. We (my family--there are 7 of us) will be praying for your surgery to go well and for you to be back in your driver's seat ASAP!


Gina Loudon