By Nichole Giles
Well, it finally happened. Deseret Book rejected my manuscript. They’ve rejected every other author I know who has submitted to them in the last six months, so I’m not alone in this. Truth be told, in most cases, I’d turn around and submit nationally. But this particular story is an LDS story, and thus limited to the LDS market and its publishers.
If you’ve been following my blogs for more than a year, you’ll remember me mentioning my grandfather who, in 1958, was kidnapped, driven across two states at knifepoint, bound and gagged in the middle of a desert and left to die. His faith, and ability to listen to the promptings of the Spirit not only saved his life, but altered the course of another man’s future.
That is the book I wrote, and it's the one the publishers rejected. Here’s the thing. I can understand budget cuts, full publishing calendars, and rejecting something because it likely won’t sell well. Publishing is a business, after all. But what are we, the rejects, to do when we have a well-written, compelling story—one we’ve spent countless hours writing, researching, and fact checking—only to find out that our story is not good enough? Or won’t fit into the budget for three more years? What do we do when the small publishers don’t have a place for us?
It was discouraging to get my own rejection, but watching all my friends getting rejected makes it even worse. Their books are good, well-written books that I would buy in a heartbeat. All of us have been rejected.
However, there is a silver lining in every situation, and I firmly believe that things happen for a reason. I know of a group of authors who found themselves in similar circumstances and used their own experiences to not only help teach others, but to pull together a group of friends and peers. The efforts of the group benefit not only themselves, but others like them, and have stretched so far, and so wide that they will probably never know how many people they have helped, or how many lives they’ve touched. Including mine.
So as we’re all feeling sorry for ourselves because we’re rejects—while we all wonder what comes next—I find myself looking forward and wondering what bigger and better things are in store for me. I know there’s a reason this story insisted on being written, and even though I can’t see it now, something amazing is heading my way.
In the meantime—I’m already back on the horse. I spent the week revamping the cover letter and doing mass submissions. If you happen to be a publisher looking for the next big seller, give me a call. Or hey, I suppose if you’re a movie producer, I’d be willing to convert my book to a screen-play. I’d even help you cast the roles…
Ah, come on. A girl can dream, can’t she?
Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.