Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Letter

I could tell the minute I took the envelope from the mailbox -- a rejection.

An acceptance would have come in a large kraft envelope, big enough to hold a contract. It would not have come in a slim #10 envelope that I instantly recognized as the one I had enclosed with my manuscript almost a year earlier.

Yes, a year. The publisher had told me up front that it would be 11-12 months before I received an answer, so I put the submission in the back of my mind and tried to forget about it. As the year drew to a close, I began imagining The Letter. Or better yet, The Phone Call.

As if to add salt to the wound, the rejection came the day before Mother's Day. I guess that's not as bad as coming on my birthday. Or Christmas.

A year is a long time. I know you can send multiple queries, but sending multiple manuscripts is frowned on. Once a publisher has asked for en exclusive look, a writer has to hold back on further queries lest another request to view the story comes along. And then what do you do?

I know, it's a long shot and I probably should have continued sending queries. At the very least I could have written an agent and told her "Hey, I have two (or three) publishers wanting my book, how about you representing me and getting the best deal?"

The blog title says it all: I am by definition, a dreamer. For a year, I dreamed of that acceptance.

Pop! A rude awakening.

I am not giving up, though. I immediately wrote another query letter, attached a synopsis, and sent it off to a different pulisher.

And tomorrow --well maybe not tomorrow, my husband has promised to take me out to dinner for Mother's Day (and his birthday) so maybe it will be early next week before I send another query. And another. Until I get The Letter.


  1. Hi Sandy, I know the feeling. Multiple queries frowned upon or not may be the answer.


  2. Sandy, a year is a long time to wait for an answer. Did the publisher ask for an exclusive and expect you to wait a year? I agree with Carole. Go multiple.

  3. One time it was over a year before I received a rejection letter from an agent. I'd sent in the required SASE amd during that time the price of stamps went up, but I received it anyway with the older, cheaper stamp on the envelope! My Gosh! They can take their time. I don't wait though, I send tons of queries out. I only had one exclusive and it was a no-go anyway...
    Isn't it FUN???? smiles

  4. Sandy, you are a wonderful writer and storyteller. You will find a publisher.
    Hugs. Linda

  5. Shucks! A year of waiting, only to be let down. So sorry. I prefer to think of rejections as a "passing grade" for a tough test you just took. You put yourself out there, vulnerable and naked. You've done something amazing and brave, that most people wouldn't have the guts to do in the first place. Bravo! Now send out at least three queries at the same time and tell them as a professional courtesy, this is a multiple submission. Just like dating. Boys always liked girls who gave them a challenge. The "call" will come.

  6. Good for you, Sandy, for turning right around and getting a query back out there. And by all means go multiple, as the others have said, it's the only way you'll find the one that connects with your voice and your story.