Tuesday, September 1, 2015

STAYING STRONG by Ursula Renée

After endless submissions and rejections, an editor indicates her desire to offer you a contract. You scream…you dance…you celebrate. You’re finally going to be a published author; your career can only go forward for that point on.

Unfortunately, while the first contract may open doors for you, it does not guarantee that they will remain open. For every book you would like a publisher to produce, you have to go through the same submission process of sending in the manuscript then waiting weeks to hear back from your editor. And, when they respond, the answer is not always what you wanted to here.

Not every work is guaranteed acceptance. Even if you signed a multi-book contract, the publishing company has a clause that gives them the option to reject any manuscripts that do not fill their needs.

In order to better your chances of getting accepted, remember the rules you followed when submitting your first manuscript. Always submit the required material. If your editor wants a synopsis with the manuscript, do not think this does not pertain to you and only forward the manuscript.

Make sure the manuscript is polished, free of typos and formatted according to the style of the publisher. Remember, just because you have an editor you should not let your work become shoddy.

Once you have signed a contract with a publisher, do not become a diva. Do not insist your writing is the best since Shakespeare. Pay attention to the advice from the editor on ways to improve your skills. And, do not demand that your editor focuses her attention solely on your needs. You are not her only author. She have other careers to help build besides yours.

So, what do you do if you follow all the rules and mind your manners, yet still get a rejection? Most importantly, do not question your ability. You are a good writer. The manuscript was not the right fit for the publisher at that moment.

Do not take to social media and bash the editor and/or the publisher. Word gets around, even if you posts messages or private boards and no one wants to work with someone who is unprofessional.

Do acknowledge that the rejection does hurt. Be nice to yourself for a day or week or however long it takes for the pain to go away. If the editor offers feedback, take her notes into consideration. And, do not give up on the manuscript. Continue to submit it to publishers until you find a home for it.

Thanks to the support and encouragement of the members of RWA/NYC, Ursula’s debut novel, SWEET JAZZ, was published in September 2014. As President of RWA/NYC, Ursula wants to offer the same encouragement and guidance to other RWA members.  Visit her at www.ursularenee.com.

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