Rejections Mean Nothing…
Sending stories to editors is a game, one worth winning if editors start buying your work. It is fantastic free advertising for your overall work and you actually get paid for it, and then can republish the story later. All win-win-win…
But so many writers take rejections from editors personally. I hear it all the time. And that is just flat wrong. No editor I know rejects a story and remembers the writer and puts some sort of blame on the writer. We can barely remember the writers we buy. Stories we reject we don’t care about in the slightest.
Let me give you some help hints as to what does catch an editor’s attention.
- Regular submissions. We notice writers who have a work ethic. See, the secret is that we don’t buy stories. A single story from a beginning writer costs us money and gets us nothing in return. But if the writer is submitting stories regularly, we pay attention and even root for them to hit because we know the writer will send us more stories.
- Good craft and storytelling. Even if the story doesn’t work for some reason for the magazine or book, great craft and storytelling really will catch an editor’s attention. Now I do not mean pretty language and nice sentences and polished crap. We pass over that almost instantly. Good craft and storytelling will catch our attention.
- Easy to read manuscripts and following guidelines. Stunning how many writers can’t even be bothered to do that.
My suggestion… Follow Heinlein’s Rules to the letter.
Write, finish what you write, do not rewrite, put it out on the market, and keep it on the market. Very simple.
At one point I had 70 different stories out on the market and not surprisingly, as I kept learning and wrote more stories, I got better and my stories started to sell regularly.
Write, finish, send out and repeat…
And never take a rejection personally for any reason. When the story comes back, put it right back out.
You do that and editors will start paying attention and eventually you will hit them with a story to buy. Then thank them and send them another.