Rejection Letters are not a Badge of Honor

No SymbolI enjoy spending time with fellow authors, but one thing really does make me wonder, and that is when someone starts bragging about all the rejection letters they’ve received while their manuscripts sit collecting dust for months, even years. It’s not necessarily a badge of honor. While they’re collecting their rejection letters, my books are on the market and being read.

As I often tell people, the six-figure advances, and all the fame that comes with it, is more myth than reality. Unless you’re a celebrity, the odds of a traditional publisher, particularly one of the major publishing houses, buying your manuscript, especially if you’re a first-time author, are about as good as going to Hollywood and landing a role in a feature film.

That’s why I’ve never bothered playing the game. Frankly, it’s bullshit. I too have had literary agents express an interest in my work, and it never went anywhere. Experience has taught me that most literary agents are full of more crap than the Thanksgiving turkey. I rank them right up with used-car salesmen. Yet I hear, over and over again, “I sent an email to an agent, and they got back with me right away and wanted my manuscript, so I sent it to them, but it was months ago. When are they ever going to get back with me?”

Um…they’re not.

As I mentioned before, while you all are being jerked around, my books are being published and people are reading them. That’s because I started out doing something called partnership publishing.

Partnership publishing is when you take control and you pay someone to publish your book. Is that “vanity publishing?” No. It’s a business decision. It means that you believe in your work enough that you’re willing to invest your own money in it. It also means that you get to retain the rights to your work. It’s really a form of self-publishing, only this time the publisher does all the formatting, printing and distribution, which is something most writers don’t have the time, or the skill, to do.

With both traditional and partnership publishing it is up to you, the author, to do the marketing. With partnership publishers, however, you won’t have spend years of your life begging and pleading and jumping through hoops. You get your book published, in weeks instead of years, and a publishing partner won’t drop you if your book fails to meet their expectations.

Just like anything else, there are good and bad partnership publishing companies out there, so it’s best to shop around. The typical price is $2000 to $5000. That may sound like a lot, but please keep in mind that producing a quality book is a time-consuming process that requires special skills and special software. Most importantly, find out about distribution. That’s the key. If they aren’t distributing through Ingram or Baker & Taylor, or both, you’re going to have trouble getting your books in bookstores.

So, it’s up to you. Do you spend the next few years collecting rejection letters while your book remains unread? Or do you want to control your own destiny and get your book into the hands of readers? The choice is your. If you decide to take control, please come visit our website at www.goodoakpress.com and find out how we can create a book you’ll be proud of.

GM