By Jan McCanless
One of the joys of writing, is being published, there is nothing quite like seeing your name on something you wrote.
In my speech making and presentations around the country, people are always asking me what it's like, when was the first time it happened to me, and what do you do if you get a reject.
I was 16 when I got my first work published , it was a review for the cover of a book my dad, a major publisher, was coming out with, but, had yet to go to press. So, I read the book, reviewed it, and sent it in to the editor. Much to my surprise and delight, they put my review on the books cover, and sent it to the press. That sparked the fire that remains to this day.
Rejects can actually be beneficial to you, we all get them, even now, not everything I write is accepted. Here's what NOT to do, don't quit !!! Do not think that because your work was rejected, it isn't any good, it just doesn't happen to fit that venues criteria. Go back, reread your work again, make sure all the i's are dotted, all the t's crossed, spelling correct, even a slight punctuation mistake can cost you. When you're sure it's perfect, and what we call a 'clean' manuscript, send it to someone else. What isn't suitable for one editor, may be just the thing another one is looking for.
When it comes to a book manuscript, rejects can be painful. My first book, Beryl's Cove and the Elvis Man accrued 3 years worth of rejects, and being told it would never be accepted and never sell. I believed in it, so, I published it myself, and in one week, it went bestseller. After that, the publishers called me. The rest, as they say is history.
Bottom line is, don't be afraid of rejects, learn from them. Self-publish if you have to, and once the work is out, give away some copies. If it's good, people will love it, and actively seek you out when the next chapter of your writing career happens. The more people who read your work, the wider your audience. Above all, keep at it, writing is a learning experience.
Jan McCanless is a well-known author throughout North Carolina. Her list of publications and awards she has received would fill a good-sized volume by themselves. In addition to the Beryl’s Cove Mystery series and other books she is a freelance columnist for the Salisbury Post, a regular contributor to Senior Savvy, The Saturday Evening Post; Sophie Woman's Magazine, and a multitude of other periodicals. Read a current interview of Jan in Southern Writers Magazine. Her social media links are: