Mismatch rather than Rejection

Fri 12 Jul 2019, 09:51 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs
Mismatched shoes and socks
Authors get told "No!" even more often than small kittens. No, we don't want to publish your short story. No, I don't want to represent you and your novel. No, the acquisitions department doesn't think we can sell your book. Sometimes it is couched in nicer terms, "Doesn't fit my list" or "Not quite right for me, but this is a subjective business", though quite often it is couched in silence with no response means no policies. Even if we make it through the process and our book is published, we face sometimes hostile reviewers and readers.
Too often, we refer to all of these negative responses as Rejection. Too often, we feel as if we ourselves have been rejected.
Instead, I try to think of this as Mismatch rather than Rejection. When an agent or editor says no, it is about the match being wrong and not about me or my work. Seen that way, I need to simply keep looking for the right match, or keep polishing and improving my book's chances for a good match. Even a round peg may not go into a round hole unless it is smooth and the right size. Your book may be just about right, but need smoothing or trimming to find the right match.
Same with negative reviews. That is just a mismatch between reader and book. No book is right for everybody. But there are readers out there for your stories, poems, books. You need to find them, and when the right match occurs, it is a wonderful thing.

Copyright 2019 Ben Langhinrichs

What has been said:

2.1. Jeromes Venus
(07/13/2019 11:31 PM)

Thank you for the encouraging post, Ben. I just recently noticed a site (with a theme which perfectly fit one of my works in progress) was accepting submissions, so I rushed to finish and submit it. Unfortunately, by the time I submitted it, the site was no longer accepting submissions, so my response has thus far been silence. In my rush, I also made some clumsy mistakes which I noticed when rereading what I had written. I had proof-read it when I was sleepy and submitted the work just before crashing.

Anyway, if you've read reviews of your favorite books or even movie reviews, you've probably seen your favorite parts of a book or movie criticized by people who either didn't understand the point or who simply don't like what you like. I've never been able to figure out why some top selling movies and books are popular. I would have personally rejected them, but I've seen this sentiment also expressed by others about movies and books that I love, so it's important to keep in mind how subjective the selection process is and keep trying.

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