Effective January 2014, the Blog-Zine is cosed to new posts and is going dark. The blog and its archives will stay "up," though, so please feel free to peruse the archives and discover all of the great books, authors, articles, and other features that have joined me here over the years. Thanks to all who helped make my Blog-Zine adventure a raging success! Read on!

19 May, 2008

Literary Diva Tee C. Royal On Dealing With Rejection


Now see, this is what I'm talking about folks. Good, sound advice for all of us lesser-knowns. This article was originally posted on BiB back in March, but information like this never gets old and we can't hear it enough. We've all had our share of rejections and, because the world is unjust, we'll surely receive many more before we get our fifteen minutes or fifteen seconds of fame. I know, I know, we hate it - rejection, that is. But what's a lesser-known to do? We have to take it on the chin, buck up and keep pushing, especially when we know we have something worthwhile to say. Someday, somebody is going to want to hear it, but until then, feast your eyes on this: Five Tips for Dealing with Rejection, provided by literary diva Tee C. Royal, founder of http://www.rawsistaz.com/.

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1) BE PREPARED - Please don’t submit your work before it is completed. This not only means you should have the book finished, but ensure it’s been edited. I don’t know how many times I’ve received a query and requested more than the standard 3 chapters, but then I don’t hear from the author for several months. Why? Because they’re finishing the book.

2) ACCEPT CRITICISM - No one likes being rejected, but you’ll find some agents/editors who will offer feedback on why the book didn’t work for them, suggestions on what needs improving, and things of this nature. Don’t be so quick to throw out these tidbits of information along with the rejection. Good can come from being rejected. Also, keep in mind that it can be a good story, well-written, and all that, but it’s not right for that agent/editor, for that cycle, or various other reasons. It’s simply one person’s yes or no. Move on to the next person.

3) BE REALISTIC - There are thousands of authors out there, so you’re not the only one submitting your work to a particular agent or agency. Don’t assume that we’re sitting around twiddling our thumbs. We aren’t. Also, our existing clients are our primary focus, so while we would love to respond in 3-4 weeks or sooner, it simply doesn’t work out that way sometimes. Be patient and realistic while waiting for a follow-up. Inquiring every 2-3 weeks isn’t helping your case any. It actually hurts it. And once you get the follow-up, don’t be arrogant, rude, obnoxious or all-knowing about it. It’s a turn-off and could possibly turn what would’ve been an "I’m interested" into an "I’ll pass." I loved an author’s work recently and could see the book doing well, but his reply to my request for the remaining chapters and a contact number totally changed my desire to work with him. Granted, it took quite a while to get to his submission and to reply, but starting off his response with, "It’s good to hear from you after 5 months," wasn’t really too bright. Then, he didn’t send what I requested, but another "taste" of the book. What? LOL. Sorry, he had to go. Not following directions is one of my pet peeves.

4) KEEP ON MOVING - Don’t fall into "waiting mode"; continue to write, query others, write more, and study the craft. Oftentimes, we find ourselves stuck in the "I’ma wait until" frame of mind, expecting someone to do something or for something to happen. While it’s good to be hopeful, it’s not good to be so expectant. Basically what I’m saying is, don’t put anything on hold, waiting on a "yes", because in some cases, you will be disappointed. Instead, live in the present and, again, continue to write, query, study and research. Be confident in knowing it’ll happen when and as it should.

5) CHANGE YOUR VIEWPOINT - Change your viewpoint about the rejection. Don’t take it personally, as an outright slight against you. Your work was rejected, not you, per se. Look at the rejection as one step further in realizing your dream of being a published author (or of getting an agent, deal, etc.). Everyone started off with that first book. Many authors who were rejected numerous times over are now best-selling authors. So, continue to work hard, keep the faith, utlize the aforementioned tips and continue to perfect your manuscript. Then, submit again and again and again. It’ll happen.
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We should be so lucky, right fellow lesser-knowns? Let's all cross our fingers, click our heels three times and say, "There's no place like the New York Times Best-seller List", over and over until it finally happens. Just don't let anyone hear you talking to yourself and, please, don't start answering yourself.

This ain't over...

Tee C. Royal is the founder of RAWSISTAZ(.c0m) Literary Group, which features African-American literary reviews, book synopses, author interviews and other valuable information for readers and writers, alike. She is also the founder of Royal Literary Management (http://www.royal-literary.com). Beginning in the fall of 2008, she will open submissions in lieu of representation opportunities for the following genres: Women's Fiction, YA, Sci-fi/Horror, Historical Fiction & Christian Fiction, among others.

** Article reprinted with permission from Tee C. Royal **

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