Tuesday, August 26, 2014

When is a Rejection Letter a Beautiful Thing?

Sandra here with her latest rejection letter in hand.

And I'm not crying.

Nope. I'm doing a Snoopy dance.

Yep, I received a great rejection letter.

The reason this rejection letter was great is the editor took the time to write and inform me of the strengths she saw in my writing. She took the time to explain why this particular manuscript wouldn't fit into her line. She took the time to explain some elements she was looking for in her line. She took the time to point out some solutions to the problems.

Wowza!  A busy editor took that much time on a proposal of a manuscript she wasn't going to buy. Do you know what that tells me?  That tells me the editor liked my writing. That tells me the editor thinks I am worth her time. That tells me not to give up. A rejection letter like this is Encouragement with a capital E.

So how many of you out there have received rejection letters?

And just so you know, that once you are published doesn't mean you won't ever receive another rejection letter.  No way. Published authors receive rejection letters and dread them just as much as a "not published yet" author.

One of the speakers at Desert Dreams Conference who is Best Selling author showed us all the rejection letters she had received in her career.  They filled a suitcase.  And she stated she had over 1,000.  Well she has been writing a long time. But the point is, she didn't let those rejection letters get in her way. She pushed on to the best seller list.

Rejection in a suitcase

So what does that mean? How can a rejection letter be great?

Here are some of the reasons:

1. A busy editor thought enough of your writing to take the time to respond. This validates your writing.  It shows you write well and other factors were involved in the rejection.

2. The editor or agent who rejected you, may have left helpful hints and/or suggestions for improvement. This is an opportunity to improve your manuscript. They may ask you to resubmit. Be sure you do it because this now becomes a requested manuscript and passes up the slush pile.

3. The editor or agent thought enough of your writing to respond so they like your writing style.  If they don't ask you to resend the one they rejected, they will more than likely be interested in something else you wrote. So get busy and send them another proposal.

4. Your rejection may have had nothing to do with your writing, but may simply have been some other in-house reason to reject it.

For more detailed information on the reasons, check out the post I wrote in 2012 on rejection letters .

The above reasons are practical reasons why a rejection letter can be great. But there are deep underlying and spiritual reasons also:

One thing about having lived this long and written this long,  is hind-sight is very enlightening.  We may be certain that God has given us a gift to write and that He expects us to use it.  But then we become puzzled with why we get so many rejections when we are so sure we are supposed to be writing.

Well it isn't my place to question God's wisdom, but hindsight and living life has enlightened me to a small degree.  (Notice I said SMALL degree lol)

1. It isn't the right time:  There have been many times in my life when circumstances would have made it next to impossible, for me anyway, to have fulfilled a contract. I have gone through some circumstances that made me say "thank you" that I received that rejection letter.

2. Need more information:  Maybe I needed more experience or research. My heart's desire to write a historical that begins in Spain has been put off for years because I knew that I needed to go to Spain before starting that novel. Well, it took me awhile to get there, but as you know, I went last fall so now have that research and I also made contacts for further research. So thankfully that proposal was delayed.

Roman bridge in Spain

3. Another reason related to time is maybe the timing of the novel isn't right: Love's Miracles is a story about a Vietnam Veteran.  I received rejections for that book because it was too soon to publish a book about that heart wrenching time.  But now it is well received because it has become historical. There are many books that were rejected, but became popular because the time was right for them.

So what does knowing all these wonderful reasons for rejection mean to us as writers? I am hoping that it will give you encouragement to keep on writing in spite of rejections and seeming impossibilities.  Look for the bright side when a rejection comes. Think beyond the immediate disappointment and look for the positive implications.

Does anyone have a wonderful rejection letter story to share?  Please do because it helps to build our hope and faith. We can say all we want about relying on Him and having faith in our work, but sometimes it is tough to see until we've lived a little and can look back.

Sees Candy has a Build Your Own Dream Box  so help  yourself and let's hear how you are doing. Yummmm

Build your dream box at www.Sees.com

Thanks to Walt Mussell's suggestion earlier today, I will give a $25.00 gift card from See's Candy to the winner.  You can build your own dream box.  


Preview for my September blog post.  Last weekend, my former editor, Amber Stokes came to SunRiver, Oregon on vacation and we finally met face-to-face.   We had lunch at Hola's and talked and talked.

Amber on her bicycle in front of Holas!

It was soooooooo much fun to meet someone you have worked with for the past couple years.  She has a new job she is going to tell us all about in September so keep watch.

Sandra and Amber


  1. Hi Sandra:

    To me the best thing about a rejection letter is the fact that it means you finished, polished and submitted a manuscript. I’d dearly love to have a rejection letter on each of the five completed WIPs that I have waiting to be edited and polished.

    A rejection letter is like crossing the finish line and being told that you didn’t win the marathon race in your age category. It’s still a notable accomplishment.

  2. I wish I'd saved all of mine. I have about 50 saved in files, and about 15 in paper. Darn it, there were more!

    And I'm still so sad we didn't get to meet up when I was over on the west side of Oregon in June. Sunriver is still (at the nearest we were on the coast) five hours away by car. Such a big state! I did wave as we took the highway turn-off past Salem and headed East again.

    It was my nearest Seeker sighting!

  3. My rejection letter for "Running on Empty" from AnnE Goldsmith (Tyndale) helped me see how to deepen the heroine's POV and make her more responsible... and she taught me to ask "WHY?" from the reader's perspective. Using her wisdom, "Running on Empty" is now my highest selling independent book and has elicited a huge reader response. AnnE's advice helped me write a better book.

    Another editor rejected "Safely Home" when I was first published with LI. She sent a nice, bullet-pointed rejection that showed what didn't work for her. I took that letter and re-wrote the story, deepening the plot points she found lacking but also leaving a few things in that I felt worked well. "Safely Home" is selling well on Amazon and readers love it, so yes, those rejection letters are literally GOLD... I love independent eyes to see my work, but I'm also confident enough that if I love a story that gets rejected, it's not that it's B-A-D... it's just not right.

    And that's a huge difference!!!!

  4. I loved Stephen King's rejection letter Nail on the Wall.

    I did that for a while. It was great incentive to NEVER QUIT.

    Laughing, but it's true. Seeing them posted... from the early form letters to the later more personal letters, and the e-mails from agents , I amassed a bunch! Some of that is sending work out way too early, but I learned! We all learn! Go us!!!

  5. Hi Sandra,

    The nicest rejection letter came from the agent I least expected. This agent is well-respected and has an amazing client list.

    This person listed why they passed on the project I pitched and asked to see my next project. My admiration grew for this person that day, and I appreciated the kindness shown to me.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. I received an incredible rejection letter recently. A pub board passed on my manuscript/s but for reasons that had nothing to do with me or the writing.

    The editor who pitched the projects wrote my agent an amazing email about how sad she was that she wasn't going to be getting to work with me and how much she loved my writing that I still grin like a crazy woman just thinking about it :)

  7. Kara Isaac that's the best kind of rejection letter!!!!!

    Oh my stars, that's aweesome!

  8. Good post, Sandra. This is very true and I think it's awesome the editor took that time to explain her reasons to you. She obviously respects you a lot, which is huge. :-) Wonderful tips too!!! Rejection letters mean forward motion...and that's paramount!

    I had a rejection letter in which the editor clearly outlined the parameters of the line I was submitting to. You would think I'd know them as I'd read the guidelines, but a light bulb turned on when I read her words. It really made a difference to me and helped me see things more clearly.

  9. One of my rejection letters explained that I didn't have enough romance for their line—she explained that my manuscript was more 'woman's fiction. They had asked for a full, and said they liked my story.

    I got a personal handwriten note from Johnene Granger of Woman's World mag. explaining how to fix one of my short stories. Very helpful. She ended the note saying that she liked my writing style.

    I appreciated both rejection letters. It takes a busy person's time to bother, especially if they are not buying the story. I learned from both letters. :-)

  10. Awwwww Vince, That is soooo sweet. And yes, you are so right. If you receive a rejection letter, even the form letter type, it still shows that you did finish and submit a manuscript.

    By the way, that is the proof the IRS needs to show them you are serious about writing and it isn't a hobby. So save those letters.

  11. Waving at Virginia, Yes, we were close. When I saw where you were on Facebook, I so wanted to hop in the car and go find you. But the Cascade Mountain Range is daunting.

    Some day and it will be soooooo special.

    And yes, do save those letters. They make great topics for discussion.

  12. Hi Ruthy, Yes, we have lots of memories regarding rejection letters. We worked so hard and still do. smile

    Editors are amazing people in that they can see and define those points that make a story better.

    But as it shows in Running on Empty, that topic didn't appeal to the editors who read it, but we all have different taste. Obviously it has appealed to many others.

    So even though your work might be rejected by the traditional publishers, hang tough and keep writing and rewriting and submitting. Our Ruthy is a great example of persistence and true grit. smile

  13. HI Jackie, Wowza, they want you to send them something else. I sure hope you are going to follow through with that wonderful opening. Be sure to mention that in your cover letter when you send it.

    That is an example of a wonderful rejection letter.

    Best wishes and hang in there.

  14. Oh Kara, The fact your proposal went as far as the pub board is awesome. That editor really worked hard for it and that means she/he LOVED it.

    Definitely send them something else. whoo hooo

    Finding the person who likes your style of writing is like finding a needle in a haystack. You've already found that gem.

    Best wishes.

  15. A rejection letter is not the end of a dream. It is just a delay in the process. Thank you for the post.

    I heard a rumor that the publisher I am getting ready to submit my non fiction book requires you to buy a certain number of books. Does this mean it is not a legitimate publisher.

  16. Thank you Jessica. It is important to listen when they do take that time to point things out. And it does help sometimes to hear the guidelines stated in different words. After all when we read, we bring in our own individual interpretations and that applies to guidelines as well as anything we read.

    Good point.

  17. Hi Mary H., Wow, that is wonderful because those comments really did help you. If an editor has taken the time to write all of that information, they really do like your writing.

    What encouragement.

    Best wishes.

  18. Ha! I saved all my rejection letters. Hadn't thought about printing the email ones.

    But I always said that as I grew as a writer the quality of my rejection letters improved.

    Go Sandra!!

  19. Vince finished five manuscripts? Way to go, Vince.

  20. And Virginia has never met a Seeker? Oh, my goodness. Such an emptiness.

  21. My last rejection letter was wonderful. I could tell the editor had taken time to read my full manuscript and had wonderful suggestions. She also asked for specific rewrites that, if I chose to make them, would give her cause to look at the manuscript again. I chose not to in this particular case but what an encouragement. I'm with you Sandra. SOmetimes those rejection letters are Snoopy Dance time! Of course I've never received an acceptance letter so who knows what that might entail?

  22. Morning Wilani, You said, "A rejection letter is not the end of a dream. It is just a delay in the process." That is a wonderful statement. I love that.

    Most publishers give an author 10-20 free books when they publish and those are to help promote your book.

    I can't answer your question with just that tidbit of information, but if you aren't sure, I'd definitely do more research. Do you have a writer group in your area? Or do you belong to any of the major writing organizations? They have lists of legitimate publishers and agents.

    If you don't have those resources, you can email me via my website at www.sandraleesmith.com and
    give me more information.

  23. Morning Tina, I love that you and Ruthy both said you look at those letters and see the improvement. What a great idea. That alone should encourage those "Yet to be published" writers.

  24. Hi Cindy, Wow that is major that the editor asked you to resend the manuscript. That is HUGE. They never do that unless they really do like the story and your writing. And returning that manuscript means they read it right away. It doesn't sit on the usual slush pile.

    Well, Snoopy dancing is nothing compared to an acceptance dance. You can go back in our archives and see how Seekers celebrate. chuckle. I'm sure you will also.

  25. I agree with everything you said! It's reassuring to have reasons on paper why an editor is not buying my book. Saved me a lot of wondering at times!

  26. This is a test. I need to be able to post from my iPad mini as I will be on a cruise next week. So here goes.

  27. Oh yay. It worked. Alaska , here I come. I may not have internet every day though as they charge a fortune to use the ship wifi.

  28. Morning Jill, Yes, it is reassuring to know that they really did read the manuscript. This business is tough so every bit of encouragement we receive is magnificent.

  29. What a lovely post about rejection, Sandra, and the chocolates are perfect! My first ever rejection came from an agent on my first ever manuscript that -- surprise! -- truly was not ready. :) It was a few years ago, but I still remember the words of encouragement in that letter, that I had a voice that made him want to continue reading. Thanks for the wonderful post!

  30. Sandra, wish you were driving to Alaska! We live close enough to the Alaska highway that I'd jump in a car and come meet you! I know you will have a great time!

  31. Well said! My first rejection was a form letter. My second rejection had more detail. I remember being really excited because of that :) Those are the only two from editors. But only because I started by targeting agents. I have at least a dozen of those rejections...

  32. Hi Meghan, I am chuckling over that first rejection. Have you ever gone back and read that first manuscript? It is so easy to see the mistakes now. But wow. They saw your special voice. That is encouraging.

  33. Waving at Marianne, Wish I had known you when I did take that highway. It is gorgeous country. And I would have begged you for more of your yummy cinnamon rolls. Smile

  34. Hi Sherri, How wonderful that you recognized early on that the comments from that second editor were valuable. I didn't get that until much later. Sigh

  35. Sandra, what a great post! It's all in our perspective, isn't it? How we receive a rejection letter (especially one like yours!) is colored by our perspective.

    Thank you for sharing about what makes for a great rejection letter! When (Not IF) I get a rejection letter, I'll remember to look for the good in it. :)

  36. Thanks Jeanne, It's tough sometimes to see the positive aspect, but it helps to find and focus on the good.

  37. A truly inspiring post, Sandra! One of my most cherished "rejections" was from my agent before I signed with her, and it was actually a phone call! She spent over an hour going over my story point by point and explaining what worked and what didn't.

    Did I listen and revise? YOU BETCHA!!!

  38. Finally back on Seekerville after a few days away. Helped my son move back to college and then trying to catch up from being away.

    I used to save all my rejection letters-had a couple shoe boxes full. But I eventually decided I didn't need to do that so now I get rid of them--except for the ones that have personal, helpful comments. Like Mary H., I have also received some personal notes from Johnene Granger at Woman's World. I know that is a big deal to have her read the story and then to comment. So far I have not had anything published in Woman's World, but I am going to keep at it.

  39. The only reason I know there's good rejection letters is because of Seekerville.

    Am presently working on my Killer Voice manuscript revisions from what I just realized was a "rejection" letter. I was looking at it as feedback from the contest. I guess finishing my first manuscript for a contest sorta skews the ol' writing and subbing process.

    Fixing the list given is going to take a good bit of re-writing, but the point is the editor likes my story and wants to see it fit the line a bit more succinctly (or if I can do it). I think there was even a side note of liking to see more from me. No pressure, eh? I'm still trying to find my way.

    Thank the Lord for Seekerville. I'd be clueless otherwise.

  40. Its like when your Prof carefully red pens your essay. It is hard to take but you need the advice. I have never gotten a rejection letter but I know I will get a TON. I just hope I can take it gracefully. It reminds me of the scene in Little Women where Jo chops up her manuscript to please her family.

  41. Hi Myra, Wow, an hour on the phone. How special is that? And it was before you signed with her? woo hoo. That is encouraging and so glad you listened and revised.

    I love your writing and your novels. smile

  42. Hi Sandy, Do save those letters because if you claim writing expenses on income tax they are verification that you are pursuing writing as a career and not a hobby.

    Glad you have some special ones to look back on. Hang in there. Best wishes.

  43. Hi Deb H. We are delighted that you are learning from Seekerville. That is why we started this blog because we wanted to share the information we learned along the way. Why invent the wheel over and over? We are so blessed by what all we learn from all of you. smile

  44. Hi Elizabeth, Just wait, you will be getting those letters and like Vince said earlier, they mean you have finished the manuscript and sent it in. Hang in there and stay positive.

  45. I received a nice rejection letter from an editor on a children's chapter book. She loved the writing and story idea however it wasn't right for them.

    I have never actually received a rejection letter on my romance novels because those go through my agent.

  46. And thanks for letting us know See's candy has a dream box...I just want to hop right over there and create one!

  47. Hi Rose, Lucky for you. That is nice to have an agent screen all those for you. smile. But I'm sure she passes on info when an editor comments. And I bet you smile

    Best wishes.

  48. Yes, You will love their candies. And making your own dream box? How fun is that?

    What is your favorite?

    Mine are the soft centers with dark chocolate and with lemon, pineapple or orange in the center.

    Hmmmm, maple soft center is pretty yummy too. My grandparents used to always buy us Sees Candy for special occasions. That is why I love them so much. smile

  49. Also regarding Sees, The distribution center in Phoenix sells all of their boxes of candy at 40% off to police, firemen and TEACHERS. Yay. At least someone appreciates us. How sweet is that?

  50. I used to get detailed rejection letters from an editor at Pocket. What was her name? Tina might remember. The editor stopped working for Pocket and freelances now.

    Anyway, I was so silly. Didn't realize those rejections were good. Yes, I made the changes she mentioned but never asked if I could resubmit.

    I had so much to learn.

    Still do! LOL!

    Great blog! Rejection can hurt, but it can also help.

    Did you mention Alaskan cruise? May I join you?

  51. Let's all road trip to Virginia's house! We could visit, sip some sweet tea or cola, talk about books, hug her children and then be on our way to another Villager destination.

    Now wouldn't that be fun!

    Who's willing to pick up the travel tab?

  52. Reaching for a chocolate.

    I love Sees candy.

  53. Let me brag a bit, I've never once received a rejection letter, that's right, Never! Wait a minute, wonder if that's because I'm still working on my first book??? Hmm...

    Thanks Sandra, I appreciated the encouragement and look forward to receiving any letter from an Agent. What an accomplishment that day will be having finished the book and actually sent out a proposal!

    I will be prepared when I open that letter and pin it to the wall. I will also remember your kind council and then press on. Congratulations on the great rejection letter and take care !

  54. Thanks for the post, Sandra.

    I've titled my rejection file 'Not' which explains my view -

    "It's only a 'not' - not a 'never'." ;)

  55. I one time got a rejection letter from an editor who got TRAPPED ON AN AIRPLANE WITH MY MANUSCRIPT. This was long enough ago he didn't have the snazzy smart phone access a trapped traveler would have today.

    He took 16 pages of notes on my book, which he rejected, and sent it all to me.

    It was FANTASTIC. One of the great rejection letters of all time, all thanks to the vicissitudes of aviation.

    That book eventually got published (with almost all that editor's suggested revisions) by someone else.

    It became TEN PLAGUES.

  56. Probably my WORST rejection letter was from my agent at the time. (not the fabulous agent I have now!).
    She requested a manuscript (before email made sending in manuscripts so simple)

    I printed it up, mailed it and about three months later I get this big fat envelope FROM MY AGENT, refusing to represent me.

    She's forgotten I was her client!!!!

    We parted company soon after.

  57. I've had quite a few rejections and still get them. But I definitely learned the lesson you mentioned, Sandra, about timing. I realized after my first sale that I wouldn't have been ready for it any earlier. That was a big "whew!" moment for me.

  58. I once got a rejection letter that was a RUBBER STAMP.

    The jerk kept my SASE

  59. I had a multi-published author who got her first book published, "All my mistakes are in print."

    Getting that first book published wasn't (she believes) good for her. And now she has to live with some books she finds embarrassing.

  60. Hi Debby, I love the road trip idea. We could go in the motorhome and go see lots of Seekers. We could travel across country. Now that sounds like too much fun.

    And don't we all still have so much to learn.

    And yes, I'm going on a cruise to Alaska. Come with. The more the merrier.

  61. Hi Mark, Great to hear from you. And yes, I'm excited for you to finish that book also. Having had a peek at it, I'm more than excited.

    And yes, to get the rejection, you need to get it out there. Vince pointed that out earlier. smile

  62. Hi Lyndee, Not only a not, but a "NOT YET".

    Hang in there and keep writing. You'll turn those rejections into published works yet.

    And haven't you already done so??? smiling

  63. Wow Mary, I hadn't heard the airplane rejection yet. And Ten Plagues. How wonderful that you were able to use it.

  64. SPEW ALERT!!! Mary, you have to warn us. You mean that agent forgot you were already her client.

    I am still laughing hysterically. I'm so glad you fired that agent. Because I love the agent you have now. She has been great to so many of you.

  65. Hi Missy, Isn't hind sight wonderful? Makes me not get so impatient when I remember and remind myself that there must be a reason I'm not getting my way. LOL

  66. Mary, You are still cracking me up. Rubber stamp???

    And yes, we can be thankful when those first manuscripts are still under the bed collecting dust.

    In my case, out in the shed. I have a bunch of manuscripts (paper which tells you how old they are) and on the box I wrote, "If I die, don't bother to open, just shred." That just tickles my funny bone too.

  67. Ooo...thanks for the chocolate, Sandra. And a great post. Wonderful, wonderful advice. :-)

  68. Hard to top Mary Connealy's rejection...

    But I'll try!

    I once got a rejection letter that was really the cover letter I had included with the hard-copy manuscript. My letter was smeared with grease stains, and a hunk of chicken--think Colonel Sanders--was stuck to the page. I'm sure the agent was eating while reading my manuscript. She made a note on my cover letter to her assistant that it was a "No thank you." But my cover letter was sent back to me, in lieu of an actual rejection note, along with the greasy chicken.

    That's been my most unusual rejection.

  69. HI Mindy, Thanks for stopping by and enjoy those chocolates.

    Happy writing.

  70. Ewwwwww Debby, Greasy chicken on your manuscript. I'm so glad they rejected it. See that is another reason to celebrate a rejection. They weren't right for you. chuckle



    Oh sweet thing when you've got what it takes, all it takes is the butt-in-chair syndrome and before you know it (or in my case YEARS LATER) you're published!!!

    Ruthy is cheerleading for you!!!!

  72. Well, naming no names, but I got one once that said "This reads like a "Lifetime" movie. Not interested."

    I immediately wrote to Nora Roberts whose had some Lifetime channel movies and told her she was clearly a LOSER for doing 8 (YES EIGHT!!!) Lifetime Channel movies.

    I decided I was not insulted!

  73. Yes, Ruthy, Deb H. had a great rejection.

    And Deb H. if Ruthy is cheering for you--watch out. She's good. smile

  74. Hey, I'd love to have a Lifetime movie made from one of my books. Or a Hallmark movie. smile

  75. Unfair to mention See's Candy to areas of the country that can't get it. Their chocolate is amazing.

    Yes, I treasure the one revise/resubmit letter I received from one of the editors of LIH. Even though they didn't buy after I made the changes, it made me fell like I was getting closer.

  76. Well this has been fun and informative! Love your post, Sandra and everyone's experiences. I recently got a great rejection/revision letter from the Killer Voice contest. Loved the editor's positive feedback and how she showed me ways I needed to change things to meet the requirements of the LIS line. As soon as I read them I 'got' it. So obvious! But honestly, I don't see it when I'm writing or even editing. I recognize that's something's 'off' but I can't identify it so that kind of constructive criticism is awesome. You might say I have to do it wrong in order to get it right. :-)

  77. Walt, you're close!

    Don't doubt yourself or your writing. 'Kay?

  78. Hi Sandra:

    "A rejection letter is like getting a free silver lining for your coffin. It’s a beautiful thing and it adds value but it’s not something to cheer about.”

    Now as a Unity believer, I’d like to suggest a PART II to this post:

    “After Getting the Acceptance Letter”

    What is more comforting: reading about the good things that can come from getting a rejection letter or dwelling upon the troublesome things that may follow an acceptance letter (or phone call)?

    Will it be ‘silver linings’ or ‘greener pastures’? ‘All things are possible’ or ‘this too shall pass’? ‘Expect a miracle’ or read "Love’s Miracles"‘?

    Now I’ve gone too far. : )

    Seriously, you’re right about “Love’s Miracles”‘. I could not have read a Vietnam story until just recently. “Love’s Miracles” was my first Vietnam theme novel of any kind that I managed to ‘read’ and, actually, I listened to it on Audible. I’m still not sure I could read a Vietnam novel. In short, marketing (having what everyone is buying) can trump fine writing.

    So nice to see your Amber photos. Wish they were larger or not taken from so far away. I watched Amber go all though college via her blog. It was like experiencing college all over again. Now I’m just waiting for a wedding announcement.

  79. DebH,
    Just to be sure...

    You're making the changes to your Killer Voices entry. Have you asked the editor if she'd like to see your manuscript once you've made the changes? Is that what you're planning to do? Hope so!

    Revisions and rewrites are part of the process. Ask any published author. We all rewrite. We all revise. We all take our editor's advice and make changes that usually improve the story.

    Of course, the editor wants to see more of your work!!! YAY!!!!

  80. Kav,
    See my comment to DebH.

    Are you making the changes and then asking the editor if she would like to see your revised submission? Bet she'll take a look.

    Go for it! They have a lineup to fill. They're looking for new authors. You're a new author. Make their day!

    Does that make sense?

  81. Hi Sandra~
    As a reader, all I can say is KUDOS and APPLAUSE to ALL THE WRITERS who post here at Seekerville! I'm learning so much about how much really goes into writing a book and I find it fascinating! Not to mention finding such terrific new (to me) authors in the process.

    I think I could handle a publishers rejection because it's part of the process of honing the craft, but some of overly critical reviews I've seen are something I'm not sure I would have thick enough skin to deal with. I guess when a writer wants to succed enough, they take the bad along with the good and for that I thank you all!

  82. Hi, Sandra! My rejection letter was not great......just a form letter rejection, but it was (somewhat) beautiful to me because it meant I HAD sent in something that could be rejected! I felt like a WRITER! This also reminds me that I need words on a page to be able to edit. :)

    So glad you got together with Amber and heard all about her new position and new project.

    BTW, we RVed through California in July and almost made it to Lake Tahoe, but decided to save that area until we had more time to explore. I'm looking forward to seeing Emerald Bay and the Tea House.....someday. :)

    I'm looking forward to your September post. Thanks!

  83. Cheering Walt on! I don't think I've ever seen a male LIH author, what a break through that would be, I'd buy it!

  84. Ah Walt, I'm glad you saw the positive aspect of that letter.

    Have you ever had Sees candy? You would find a way. chuckle.

    Maybe I better offer a box for my next blog prize. Oh wait. Did I even offer a prize this time? I think I forgot. Maybe it will be a box of Sees.

    Good idea. thanks Walt.

  85. Hey Kav, We are all like that.

    You don't see it in your own writing because it is all in your head. But you an see it in other people's writing. That is why we love comments from editors because they can see the holes. They are amazing. smile

    Sure glad you are finding the Killer Voice editor's info helpful.

  86. Tracey, thank you. I'm working on something that would suit LIH better than my recent WIPs. People die in most of my WIPs and apparently that's a no-no. I also have one of my characters smoking a cigar, which is also a no-no. However, every time he appears with a cigar, there's always a woman in the scene demanding he get rid of it. Will need to come up with a different annoying habit.

  87. Vince, You are still cracking me up. Yes, you went too far. chuckle. But I do like, "expect a miracle". And sometimes it helps to say "this too shall pass."

    But seriously, I'm touched that you enjoyed Love's Miracles. It was a tough story to write.

    And I'm sorry about my photography. I used my mini ipad and I'm just learning. I don't know how to make it telescope. I need to figure that out.

    And yes, Amber is adorable and will undoubtedly find romance, but right now she's into her new job which we will talk about next time. But you know how romance is? You never know.

  88. Debby, thanks for the great advice for DEB H and KAV

    Hey girls, listen to Debby. She is giving you sound advice.

  89. Hi Tracey, Yes, you need to develop thick skin. And that is another plus about rejection letters. Thanks for pointing this out.

    Rejection letters help thicken your skin. And if you have thick skin, working with an editor becomes easy peasy. You are used to the criticism and it becomes part of the process--the good part.

  90. Hi Sherida, So sorry you received that rejection letter, but I'm delighted that you are seeing the good in it. Vince pointed that out earlier when he said the letter proves you got it out there. YAY. And you did.

    Sorry you missed Lake Tahoe, but trust me you don't want to rush by. You will be delighted when you have the time to spend there.

  91. Hi Tracey, You would be surprised at how many romance authors are male. And they are great at it.

    Don't let men kid you--they can be wonderfully romantic. smile

  92. Walt, I'm cracking up. See? You did pay attention to those editors. dying is definitley a no no And I'm sure you can find some other annoying habit. Although a cigar really is annoying. chuckle.

    Don't ditch your older manuscripts because after you get published, you can do like Ruthy and Mary and publish them yourself. I bet you'll find someone who thinks they are great.

    Publishers do have strict guidelines and that is because of reader expectation. Their readers are looking for a certain type of read and they get annoyed if the publisher deviates. It isn't that they are necessarily adverse to what you've written, it just means they can't use it because it won't work within their guidelines.

    You are smart to write something else within their guidelines. That works and they appreciate your efforts.

  93. Sandra, I've read some male romance authors and you're right they can do it well, I was referring to the fact I haven't seen any in the Love Inspired line :)

  94. Okay Walt

    Today's winner wins a $25.00 gift card for Sees Candy .

    They can build their own box or order any of the premade boxes. My favorite are the dark chocolate soft centers. They are to die for. sigh ( I think I'm going to order me a box right now.)

  95. I've only had a couple rejections. One was a form letter and the other was a no-response. Lol.

    I do have some queries out that I'm wishing to hear something--anything on. Maybe I'll decide to be encouraged that they're taking time to respond instead of rushing an answer back to me. :)

    This is such an encouraging post, Sandra! Thank you!

  96. Oh Thanks for clarifying that for me Tracey. I don't really know about the LI line specifically. Sometimes the male authors use initials or a pen name. I'll ask around.

  97. Hi Natalie, Yes, no news can be great news. The editor that finally bought Price of Victory had it for two years. When she called, I was so embarrassed because I had forgotten she even still had it. LOL

    Don't do that. Make sure you have it written somewhere or noted somehow.

    Hang in there.

  98. Sandra,
    I agree a rejection letter can be enlightening and encouraging--after the pity party! I have a 4" thick ring binder of rejection letters. I could probably paper the bathroom.

    In this business you need a sense of humor, take every little nugget you can find, and keep it in perspective.

    On the ranch, I would ask myself, "Will anything die if I don't do it now?"

    With my writing I ask, "will anything bad happen if I don't get a contract?" That question
    prevents the progression of the pity party to a sob fest. After all I have a great deal to be thankful for. My tummy loves See's chocolates. My hips? Not so much.

  99. Hi Becke, You are so right and what a great question to ask. Thanks for that helpful hint.

    My hips love the chocolate. I know because they just hang on to it. LOL

  100. Good afternoon, SANDRA -- VERY interesting and encouraging blog topic, my friend, and a very necessary one to show each of us, that EVERY author gets rejected at one time or another.

    I'm pretty impressed with that rejection letter you got, too, my friend, because I NEVER received a nice rejection letter from anyone out of 46 rejections on APMP. And as I mentioned before on this blog, I had at least one rejection (I think it was two, though) where the publisher/agent simply scrawled across my query letter the words "no interest in this project." Now that's the lowest of the low in rejections when you don't even rate a piece of letterhead! :)

    One thing rejections did do for me (besides toughen me up) is make me SO incredibly appreciative of THE CALL when it finally came, making it truly magical.


  101. Debby LOL 11 herbs and spices and one 'shot me down'.

    Banging head on wall.

  102. The old rule of thumb was you'd get published about the time you'd wall papered the room you type in....with rejection latters.

  103. Walt, maybe he could........crack his knuckles?

    LOL Good luck

  104. Hi Julie, I bet all those publishers who rejected A Passion Most Pure are sorry now. smile That was truly a book that fit along the lines of Gone With The Wind. I loved that book.

    And yes, unfortunately we all get rejections even after we are published. We don't like getting rejected any more than when we were unpubbed, but it helps to stay positive. smile

  105. Hey Mary, Becke said she can paper her bathroom. You girls are too funny.

  106. I like the crack your knuckles idea, Mary

  107. Tracey I'm told there is a couple who write for Love Inspired. My source is trying to find out their pen name. Stay tuned. We'll post it when we get it.

  108. Wow Sandra, can't wait to find out who they are and if I've read them!

  109. Excellent, wise post, Sandra. I'm enjoying reading all the comments on rejection letters. Makes me want to dig mine out. Most were form letters with Dear Author, not even Dear Janet. I sent out my manuscript long before my writing was ready so I didn't deserve the personal touch. But at least I had no fried chicken stuck to the page. :-)

    Ruthy, Editor Anne Goldsmith gave me valuable revision notes that improved my story but then she moved to another publishing house and I wasn't able to resubmit. Still I was grateful for her expertise and the time she took!


  110. Debby, was the editor at Pocket you're trying to remember Micky Nuding???


  111. Now I'm wondering, if WALT does sell to LIH in the future will they recommend he use a pen name?

  112. That makes sense as it gives you info about the book.
    I have heard from an author who got a rejection from a big publishing house who were impressed with the book but had a few issues they wanted her to fix, (to many pov's, to much back story etc) but on a whole they really liked the story and suggested if she could change some of the issues they would look again. Unfortunately she took it as a criticism and thought she knew better.

    I think if someone who's job it is to buy and sells books takes the time to tell you how to improve the book you would want to take there advise. I know when looking for a job I had a couple people ring to say sorry we don't have a job at this stage I was able to ask what I could do to improve my letter and they gave advise which I now use in cover letters.

  113. Hi Janet, Yes, I had my share of dear author letters. Those form letters were daunting, but when they changed to scribbled notes on the bottom of them to actual typed letters to ME, that is when I knew I was making progress.

    I really liked Anne Goldsmith. She was so generous with her time.

  114. Good question Tracey. I don't know who makes the name change, the author or the publisher. We'll ask Walt when he sells.

  115. Hi Jenny, Ah that is too bad about your friend because that editor would more than likely have looked at the new version. But we all have our own learning curves. smile

    Good idea to ask at interviews and get input on your resumes. Thanks for the tip.

  116. Sandra, what a wonderful attitude. So glad you connected with the editor despite the R. I don't know if I could Snoopy Dance to a rejection, but I certainly agree with you that God always has a reason behind everything He does.

    Including encouragement along with the rejection to take the sting out of it.

    Yes, published authors get rejections, too. Let's toast our rejections with Sees Chocolate and look forward to success ahead.

  117. Hi Audra, Its amazing how we can snoopy dance when we think of our blessings. Hope you are having a great week.

  118. We'll folks, it has been a fun day. Thanks for all of your great comments.

    Remember to celebrate those rejections.

    And check out the weekend edition and find out who wins the Sees Candy gift certificate.

  119. Hey Sandra, I'm late, but so thankful I read your post. I've received several rejection letters in 2014. The letter you started out the post with was very similar to my last rejection. So thanks for helping me to see the positive in it.

  120. Sandra,

    Thanks for a great post!

  121. Hey Sandra, powerful and so true! I once had a well-meaning person tell me I didn't have what it took to publish a book. We simply have to push the negative aside and look for the truth.

  122. Oh Terri, I'm so glad this helped you. Yes, if the editor made comments, that is a very good thing. That means they like your writing so please follow through. Best wishes.

  123. Waving at Edwina. Thanks for dropping by.

  124. Well I guess you showed them DiAnn. Chuckle
    Best wishes.

  125. Tracey, I finally got my answer. I sent it to your google plus account but here it is also. The couple who write Christian romance is Cheryl and Mel Hodde and they write as Hannah Alexander. Here is their website. http://www.hannahalexander.com/pages/bio/bio.html

  126. Fortunately, most of the rejection letters I've received were encouraging, but I'm not done building my collection yet. ;)

  127. Hi Sandra! So sorry I'm an entire day LATE with my comment---but wanted to say I loved this post.
    Yes, I've had a few (okay---6) rejection letters - - and even though I felt "devastated" with a couple of them, in retrospect I see WHY I received them (tons of backstory when I was a brand-new writer, LOL). Thankfully they've all been kind rather than harsh. ;) And one wonderfully kind editor took the time to offer specific suggestions for my story, so I really appreciated that!
    Thanks again for sharing these reminders and encouragement with us.
    Hugs, Patti Jo :)

  128. Hi Anna, You are so adorable with your comment that you aren't done building your collection. None of us are, unfortunately. So happy your rejections have been encouraging.

  129. Hi Patti Jo, Better late than never. I always enjoy hearing from you because it makes me think of your wonderful Southern hospitality when I was in Atlanta.

    Happy writing.