Oh That Hurt!
First Rejection! Oh… that hurt… and no explanation!
When I read the email advising me that Heaven Help Us, was “not quite right for us” I was immediately deflated and boy what a sting! I felt my face turn pink with embarrassment for sticking my neck out so far in the first place. To think that my writing might be good enough to find a publisher on the first try. How arrogant of me. I know my writing ability is not without fault and needs perfecting on some levels. But, at this stage (Fourth Edition) it’s as good as it’s going to get without a professional Editor of the publisher’s choice. I say that because I’m told that publishers like to choose their own in-house editors, once they have decided to accept your book. And therein lies the problem for me; once you sell the rights to a publisher, they own your book and can re-write it however they want. I am not against making changes to text or grammar, but I do want to keep the storyline as it has been written, so it is important to keep ownership of the rights to my book. Also, professional editors can be extremely expensive and not always have the same vision for your book as you do.
It has been suggested to me to start my story with the climax at the beginning. That would mean the end of my story would be the first thing readers see. I just don’t feel that idea works for this story. I am more linear thinking, starting with the history and introducing the characters first; then building the intrigue and finally the climax and ending.
Whatever and however, it wasn’t good enough for them this time, and so it’s back to the drawing board… what a shame they won’t comment on why it was rejected.
I will try to find a traditional publisher who will allow me to keep the rights. Not a lot of hope there, but I must try first, before going to Amazon to self-publish again. This is a very self-deflating process indeed. No wonder new authors and old ones like me turn to self-publishing.
Second rejection—well not really a full-blown rejection. They are not taking any new submissions until after February 2019. Perhaps I’ll try again in the spring. They are a Publishing Company based in Ireland and it would be appropriate for them to take my book because the storyline is based in Ireland.
I thought I could entice a publisher by using the sequel as a second submission. However, I have recently been advised that once a book has been self-published, as Heaven Help Us has, that a traditional publishing company will not touch it. The sequel has never been published. Others tell me that if the book is good enough and a publisher wants it, they will pick it up regardless. There seems to be a lot of confusion around this issue and no-one to clarify one way or another.
I think I am going to concentrate on finishing the sequel and look for an Agent at the same time. That means getting a package ready to make a pitch, a somewhat daunting task to complete. Or should I go ahead and self-publish my first book with Amazon? Decisions… decisions! Wish me Luck.
Merry Christmas and a very Happy & Prosperous New Year to all.