You get a call, note, email, some type of contact from your agent that an editor wants a full read.
Once you’ve stopped dancing around the room, you question whether or not you should have reviewed it just ‘one more time’. No, they want it right now, so no time for another look-see.
In a week, if you’re extremely lucky, three or four months if things go normally, you hear back that it won’t fit in their line. Even though they knew what the story was about, now you’re left scratching your head.
And the fact is they really did like it. So why no contract? Your characters were so alive they jumped off the pages. The plot was filled with believable twists and turns. The editor told your agent that he really wanted the work. Why did the committee/acquisitions board turned your novel down?
Marketing and sales also have to be convinced that your novel is going to be a success at their house. Other editors have to fall in love with your novel. It could simply be you need a bit stronger platform. There are dozens of reasons it might not be a fit at this time.
So many factors must come into play to allow your work the opportunity to move forward. It isn’t always a reflection of the novel, certainly not of you.
In another month or two, the answer might have been different. Historic novels could pick up and the editor might wish she had the novel back on her desk. She might even contact your agent with exactly those words.
Trends come and go, and the authors who make a name for themselves are those who stick with their writing no matter the outcome when they first try.
Be a success. Stick to your goals. Try and try again if necessary.