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Dealing with Rejection

Authors experience rejection in many forms: Readers not liking the books, potential publishers turning down a query, negative reviews, and more. It can be emotionally damaging, especially to an author that has poured their heart and soul into their work. This article is designed to help you cope positively with rejection and use it to your advantage.

First off, keep in mind the real reason you are writing. Because you enjoy it. If you are seeking to become famous and make millions (although we certainly hope that will happen), it should not be your sole motivation for writing. What you must remind yourself of is that if you knew for certain that your books would never sell well, you would still write because you enjoy it. That being said, no amount of rejection will stop you from doing what you love. You aren't writing for them, you are writing for you.

Next, remind yourself that not everybody is going to like or appreciate your work. Even the most famous bestsellers have negative reviews and comments from readers. This is because not every piece of literature can be everyone's cup of tea. There is nothing wrong with that; people aren't going to like your book. People will respond harshly. These are facts. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can move on when you get those negative responses - they are, after all, inevitable.

With those two things in mind, it makes the final tip much easier. Analyze the value of all criticism. Try hard to read reviews and comments and get a feel for the vibe around your work. There will certainly be criticism that you do not accept, for example, "I didn't like how short the book was," but if you want your books to be short - don't make any changes. You know your intention and vision, and that is why it is important to weigh criticism before you make any adjustments based on it. You may find valuable criticism and initiate some positive changes, but don't embark on a journey of people-pleasing and trying to make everyone happy. In the writing field, making everyone happy simply isn't possible. 

You can use these tips to make adjustments to your writing in the future or choose to keep everything the same. Either way, don't let rejection letters or negative responses slow you down or deter you from pursuing what you love. Publishers, reviewers, and customers read MANY books, so sorting through and whittling down can be an exhausting process. There is no shame in not making the cut the first time, in fact, it's quite common. Keep in mind that your book is quite simply a needle in a haystack. It is quite common to have books turned down or sent away that later become quite popular; it has happened to many great authors.

Have confidence in your work, do your best, and never give up at the first sign of an obstacle. Perseverance is the key to success.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Joshua Soule