The other day I received a rejection letter for a manuscript I had submitted a few months ago. This one was from a very well know publisher and despite my initial disappointment I was thrilled to receive this letter.
Why would I be thrilled?
Was I crazy?
No, I haven’t gone crazy. In my years of submitting and getting rejected I have categorized the types of rejection into four different levels. I have listed them below:
The Four Levels of Rejection
Level 1– No response
This could mean that your work is rubbish, it didn’t fit with their list, or they don’t want to read another duck story etc… there really is no way to tell what was wrong and this will leave you guessing.
There is no cure for this type of rejection, because you simply don’t hear from them again. The best course of action is to wait a reasonable amount of time and resubmit the story to another house.
Level 2– The Form Letter
This is the most difficult to decipher, they could just be polite or they may have looked at it briefly and decided against your story. There’s no way to tell.
The good news is you can feel free to submit the story to another house and you have a great excuse to indulge in a little pampering to help your bruised ego. I suggest cinnamon rolls or a trip to the movies, but you can choose anything you’d like that will help you cheer up.
Level 3– The Personal Rejection
This comes to you in the form of a letter addressed to you and makes reference to your manuscripts name. This means they have read your manuscript and are aware of your story.
Whoo Hoo! This is a great cause for celebration. This may still be a form letter, but if they’ve taken the time to include such personal information you’ve risen a little higher in that slush pile. You can feel confident sending this manuscript to another house and maybe it will be the right match. Don’t forget to pamper yourself as well, after all you did receive a rejection, I would suggest a nice dinner or a walk on the beach.
Level 4– The Personal Rejection with Revision Tips
This is the best form of rejection. It’s even better if they would like to see the manuscript again once it’s been revised.
By giving you revision tips, the editors have given you a huge clue to what they are looking for and how to fix your manuscript. Take advantage of this opportunity and make your manuscript shine.
Once again a rejection like this requires a certain level of pampering, it’s tough when someone says “NO” so do something special for yourself and then get your butt in gear.
I sent my manuscript out to 5 publishing houses. I received three Level 3 rejections and my most recent one was a Level 4! I’ve already had my cinnamon roll, so I am working on the revision now and hopefully this time they will say “Yes.”
Writing on the Sidewalk