As a writer one must develop a tough skin when it comes to facing rejections.From what I've noticed the writers with the healthiest attitude toward rejections are those who don’t take it personally and realize in most cases their vision just wasn't clicking with an agents or publishers. No be deal. Some people like vanilla ice-cream and when you offer them chocolate they will turn it down.
The other side of rejections is that your work isn't up to snuff. When an author approaches this type of rejection with the attitude of using this for a learning experience it is a win-win. The author wins as they get back to work and improve their craft and the reader will ultimately win because now the story is top notch.
Most authors, especially those breaking into the publishing world, will face numerous rejection letters. I have a list of agents I've queried and who have rejected me (so I don’t inadvertently query them with the same project twice), but I haven’t actually counted up how many rejections I've gotten.
I have found the rejections fall into three categories:
1) If the agent is not interested you will never, and I mean NEVER, hear back from them. They will sometimes state this on their web site, ‘if you don’t hear from me in three months, it’s a pass’. I personally have a strong dislike of these sorts of rejections. It seems lazy of the agent to not even bother to push the button and send me a form letter telling me they aren't interested.
2) The most common is form letter that usually reads something like this “thank you for your query, unfortunately I don’t feel this is the right story for me.” They then might encourage you to keep querying other agents as there are such varying tastes out there. This sort of rejection is fine with me. At least I know they got my submission and looked it over. It makes it easier for me to let go and put them on the rejected list.
3) The least common are ones that read like this:
Thank you so much for allowing our agency to consider your material. Unfortunately, after carefully reviewing your query, we've determined that this particular project isn't the right fit for our agency at this time. As I’m sure you know, the publishing industry changes swiftly now, as do readers’ tastes and trends. As a result, our own agents’ needs shift and change, as well; therefore, we would like to encourage you to consider querying us with future projects as you may deem appropriate.
Again, thank you very much for allowing us this chance to consider your material, and we wish you all the best in your publishing endeavors.
I really like the statement I put in bold. It let me know that where the agent didn't care for my flavor of ice-cream she did see value in the writing.
It’s hard to have what you poured your blood, sweat, and tears into be turned down. As a friend of mine recently said:
Got another rejection today, but somehow I feel excited to even be at this point to be receiving them. On to the next agent.