Query Letters, Submissions and Rejections Oh My!

Writing a book was the easy part. Getting it published? Not so much. I finished typing my first draft and excitedly said, “Done!” I felt a rush of pride, so excited to be able to say “I wrote a book.” That’s when it occurred to me, I had zero idea of where to go from here. Like I said the writing was easy. I sat down to my computer and the story wrote itself, the characters told me where to go, they developed their own stories in my mind. I know these people and their lives. I was able to put it all down on paper and be happy with what I read. But WTF was I supposed to do with it now?

To find the answer I turned to Google. I spent days the months researching query letters. How to write them, how to submit them and what to expect. I sent in submissions and excitedly waited with my hopes so high that within a week I would get that phone call saying “We loved your book! We’re going to pay you to publish it.”

What did I get? Crickets, and rejections. Discouraged and heartbroken, I turned to myself and said, “It’s okay, Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

No. That’s a lie. Discouraged and heartbroken I felt myself spinning out of control, was my book really that bad?

There has to be someone out there who would like it, back to Google. I said, maybe my expectations were off. That's when I found so many people who had written books and never gotten them published and all the avenues, I could take to self-publish and get it out there for people to read. But I wasn’t ready to admit defeat yet.

To date I have had numerous rejections, and a dozen self-publishers willing and eager for me to pay to publish my book. Where do my hopes lie at this point? I have two publishers who have said they like it, but. So, I’m working on the but, I’ve edited. I’ve thrown out my original ending. Which let’s be honest, fucking sucked and I’ve busted my ass to improve upon what I hope will become my first published book.

If it doesn’t? That’s okay too. Things don’t always work out the first time. I have other ideas and once I get them organized, I can sit down and write again. During my research I found that many famous authors whose names you would recognize NEVER got their first book published. It happens and I’m going to have to be okay with that.

I think acceptance of our failures and learning from them is extremely important. I have tried to work this into my everyday life and learned to grow a thicker skin. After all I’m only an aspiring author and sometimes it takes years before good books, classics that have changed history, even get published. I’m not saying my BDSM fantasy novel is going to shape lives or change the world. But one day it may change mine more than it already has.

If you have a dream to write and want to get what you’ve written out there, go for it. Work your ass off, fall down, get back up and try again. Most importantly, always be true to yourself. Best of luck with your endeavors, wish me luck in mine.

~Emmy Lou H.

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