Today I feel like this turtle, whose photo I took during a visit to the Auckland Zoo in New Zealand. I feel that I am going along at a painfully slow pace when it comes to the process of trying to sell my manuscript. Months and months are going by with nothing happening. When things do happen, it's inevitably a "no".
Today another "no" came along. It is a rejection. There is no getting away from it! But apart from the feeling of slowness, I was wondering if there is such a thing as a decent rejection? Should we feel miserable after each one that comes along?
Random House in New Zealand sent me a rejection via email, four months after I first sent them my novel. Here's the actual text of the letter:
Thank you for sending us your manuscript of The Olive Tree Manifesto. Unfortunately, we have decided it isn’t for us. I’m afraid that because of the huge quantity of manuscripts we receive, we cannot give you detailed comments as to why it is unsuitable. However, please be assured that we do take every submission seriously and everything goes to at least one reader (often more).
As we publish a limited number of titles each year, we are able to be particularly selective, so although we have decided against taking on your work, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try elsewhere. Another publisher may well think differently, and I recommend you try such places as Penguin, HarperCollins, Reed Publishing or University of Otago Press. There are also some good manuscript assessors available who (for a fee) can give you detailed suggestions for improving your manuscript should you want further advice. See www.elseware.co.nz/NZAMA for more details.
Thank you for considering us.
PS – Your novel was certainly better than many we receive but unfortunately we felt the market for this genre would be too small.
Now, I don't know about you but the only line that I really took in was the PS at the bottom. This seems to be an extra line added to a standard letter and it did cheer me up to think that this woman made a special effort to soften the blow. It helps enormously to know that they didn't think the novel was out and out crap!
I must say that I was very impressed with Random House in NZ. First of all they accept the sending of an ENTIRE manuscript from the get go and they promise that everything goes to at least one reader. As I said in an earlier post, I don't think there are many major publishers still working like this. They were also very prompt and efficient with their emails to let me know where things were at.
It's not a great day, to get an email of rejection, but at least it wasn't just the standard one line that usually leaves us thinking that we should throw the whole thing in the bin. So, it's onwards and upwards! The turtle is getting excited! The turtle is hungry! The turtle is done with waiting!
I'm printing out some chapters to send off as we speak!