First for the Good News:
I received a rejection letter from Bethany House Publishers.
Huh? How is that good news?
It is good because it was the most encouraging rejection I’ve ever received. Many publisher rejections come in the shape of a form letter. Very generic. Very impersonal. No feedback. Often a writer has no idea why her idea’s been rejected. Bad writing? Bad idea? Bad jokes?
Not this rejection. For once, I’m pretty sure it isn’t because of me OR my bad jokes. Here’s an excerpt:
“…I love your proposal. I honestly do. It has all the ingredients that a publisher can look for in a book: it’s well-written, thorough, informative, concise, and engaging. Your idea is strong, and made stronger by the fact that you have lived through very tough times.
There is only one thing you lack, and it’s not your fault: A strong platform. Ten years ago, we probably could have taken a risk and published your book; but today, in this brutal publishing environment (and I do mean brutal), there is no way I could get your book approved by out publishing committee. I know I am being blunt, but you deserve that. I respect you, and thus, am being as straightforward as I possibly can be.
So what should you do? Keep knocking on publishers’ doors. Just because we can’t do this, doesn’t mean another publisher wouldn’t….”
And then he goes on to list a few more viable suggestions. Fabulous!
I was totally prepared to spend the next few years building my platform (that’s publisher-speak for access to a large audience, like having an established speaking ministry, having a radio show or a blog that has thousands of subscribers—no pressure), when about 12 hours later, I got THIS from Moody Publishers:
“A few days ago Randall Payleitner from our staff handed me a copy of your proposal, which he picked up at Jerry Jenkins’ writer’s conference last month. I had a chance to review it yesterday and am intrigued enough to send it to our women’s team publishing team for review.
As you’ve noted, the downside is there are a good number of books out there on this issue, so the competition to get noticed in the market is formidable. But you write well that it’s at least worth giving them the chance to consider it…Having passed through the first review phase is a real feather in your cap because the majority of proposals we receive never make it this far. So please be encouraged! There’s a spark to your writing I trust the Lord will continue to use for His glory. Good for you!
Can I just say….AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!