How do you guys get the strength to go on with a second book after getting many noes with the 1st

Hi everyone. I´m a bit down today. I was going to spend this quiet afternoon writing on my second book when I got an email from one of the agents that I sent my first novel.

Actually it was the second agent I tried in my country (not an english writer so please be gentle with grammar), the first one, one of the most important here, told me that for their best reader it was the best novel she read this year. I was in heaven. Literally. Had to deal with two jobs, writing and sleeping barely four hours everyday (I´m not a kid, so I thought I was going to die exhausted) but it was worth the pain. That reader prepared a 14 pages report, praising my book on every sentence and saying that she couldn´t see it as an instant bestseller, but a quality long seller (that supposed to be better, right?) with the right marketing. I contacted the agency, they had a meeting to talk about my book, and a few days later, right after the Frankfurt book fair they called me to tell me that they are no getting new voices, it was too risky, and I was out.

It hit me, but that was ok, it was the first "No" and everybody told me to be ready to many noes, so I looked for a not so powerful agency and sent them the report. They asked me for the whole book, so after four months, they got back to me today. And today it hit me double hard than the first time. I could understand if they say that my book was not good enough, that I should try harder or whatever, but they keep saying that it an amazing novel, they compliment me but after a few lines they say that since I haven´t published anything they can´t take risks and i should try an smaller publisher (this leads to autopublishing if I keep going backwards).

Anyway, I don´t feel like writing anymore (I mean today), it´s like all the sleepless nights hit me once more and feel pretty tired. sometimes think this is a jungle. How do you guys, deal with it, I know it´s only two Noes, but damn, I don´t think I can cope with ten or fifteen of them, probably quit before.


Writing | 👁 1348 | Posted 2018-03-07 | Share on Facebook | Twitter | Google+

| Modified: 2018-03-07 | Author:


natsunoko 2 years ago

I knew it was tough and difficult, and I was ready to rejections based on my writing style, bad characters, weak plots but its a bit disheartening that the problem is me, not the novel. Could be "just" a long-seller with the right marketing and not an "instant" bestseller. And that seems its not enough :/

natsunoko 2 years ago

You`re right. Ill have to rethought my priorities and probably start seeing real small publishers as an option so Im not a "new-no one" anymore.

Keerta 2 years ago

Harry Potter wouldnt have existed if J.K Rowling gave up after a few rejections. She was rejected many many times before someone gave her a chance, and now look at where she is. Just keep trying, rework it if needed, check similar stories already published to make sure the story doesnt already exist out there, and try again. Self publish if you have no luck with agencies/publishers.

Water_Vole 2 years ago

I'm working on my tenth unpublished novel. I have had lovely comments from agents. One top London agency had one of mine for a year. I was long-listed in a national novel competition. I just keep going. It's what I do. Because, even if I knew I would never be published, I would do it anyway. I have to. There is still self-publishing. Plenty of good books are starting out that way now. I believe it is the way forward.

natsunoko 2 years ago

True. Ill take the week-end off, some walking by the sea, a hot coffee in a terrace, and the warm winter sunlight over me while reading a good book and thinking about the good advises you guys are giving me here. And even if I shout that Im going to send everything to hell, I know I cant quit writing. Is my life :)

natsunoko 2 years ago

Thanks Ed. One of the first rules that every writer should have clear is that not everyones going to like what you write, and you have to be mature enough to accept it. And I do, and Im ready to have one star reviews and live perfectly with them, because if they dont like it what can I do? I use to write reviews in a tec web, for virtual reality stuff and even some games, if you are not affected by opinions of tec fans at the bottom of the article, youre going to be fine :) its like swimming with sharks actually. When I said that I cant cope with ten or fifteen rejections, is because that is the number, more or less, of agents in my country, and every rejection means more tension and nerves because that means less chances of having an agent and start sending the book to publishers directly which is an option I dont really like. But you have some really good points here. Thanks for the advice :)

natsunoko 2 years ago

hehe its not that simple. In my country, with not many agents around (probably between 10-15 and of those only 4-5 really powerful and the rest are really small), being rejected by two is like 40 in the US. But the point of the thread is not crying for being rejected twice, but being rejected for being new even if the fully praise your book.

jarmzet 2 years ago

Take some time off. Get rested up. Then think about it. What else are you going to do if you don't write? Time is going to pass no matter what you do.

EdMcDonald_Blackwing 2 years ago

How do you guys, deal with it, I know its only two Noes, but damn, I dont think I can cope with ten or fifteen of them, probably quit before. Then I'm sorry to say it, but you don't have the right mentality to be a published author - self published, or trad published - right now. It might change in the future, but if you're feeling like that then honestly, putting yourself out there and being open for criticism is just not for you. You see, you think that this is the hard part. Now imagine that your book got published, and you see the one star reviews. You see the people who don't just dislike your book a bit, they actively hate it. They trash it. There will always be some, no matter what you write. Go look up your favourite book on Goodreads and then read the 1 star comments. What makes it even worse is that being told your book is good provides a very, very short amount of happiness, and being told it's bad gives you a massive load of pain. If you get 20 reviews and 19 are 5 star and one is 1 star, you'll ignore all 19 positive reviews and only see the negative. This is true for every author I know. The only thing to do? Grow thicker skin. Grow up a bit (harsh, but that's the truth). If you think that 10 rejections is enough to make you quit and you can't toughen up, then you should quit, because your ego definitely isn't up to what comes after getting published - it's fifty times harder after you're in print because you're completely exposed. Getting rejects feels tough - and it is tough - but it's not even close to getting publicly slated after publication. Sorry if this is not what you want to hear, but business is tough, and writing is a business. If it's something that will destroy you, and you put so much stock into so few opinions, then it's not for you. On a practical level, advice to seek smaller presses is nonsense. You need an agent, because they're the ones that will sell you to a good publisher. If you think you can handle the pain of being told that your book is trash by random trolls and haters, then send out 10 submissions to agents. If one of them believes it can sell, they'll take you on. Each rejection you get, send another submission so you always have 10 circulating. Remind yourself that you love your book, and that others will love it too. Don't give up. Don't worry about critics. Just believe in yourself and your story. Best of luck. But be prepared to note that publication will never raise your confidence in a meaningful way - it will rock it even further.

WalksByNight 2 years ago

Your book has been rejected twice and youre climbing the walls? You need thicker skin than that.

Artemis_Aquarius 2 years ago

Hey, I just wanted to say I understand. It must have been really tough for it to sound so positive and then have your hopes dashed like that. Twice! How could you not have really hoped they were going to publish? Im sure I would have. Im sure I would have thought all my dreams were about to come true. I think its one thing to have a standard rejection slip, or even hundreds of them but to get this close and have two places say they dont want to take a risk on you? Thats tough, thats really tough, because its not the book at all, its you being new. And how on earth can you change that? Gees how do they foster new talent? Do not give up. If you can, go looking for someone who wants new, who wants a long term investment. You make it a positive instead of a negative. And write that next book! Show them theres nothing risky about you. One other thing to consider. Do you have a social media profile? Any sort of followers? Building a following could help break down their reservations. If you can say, hey, my 1400 Twitter followers are really keen to buy this book, it might well diminish their idea of risk. Good luck in any case!

natsunoko 2 years ago

Im pretty used to criticism (I used to write for an online tec web) and it doesnt affect me much, but getting a negative answer from a professional in the field you want to get into its a completely different league. Has nothing to do about money (besides everyone here would love to live from their writing) or fame, its about making the toughest step in your writing career, which probably is get you first book published. I completely agree that if you write having money as your final and unique goal, you may end writing a bestseller, but there will be no soul or emotion in it. Thanks for your advice blade :)

danimariexo 2 years ago

Agents don't want a self-published book, typically. Very rarely, an editor will reach out form a smaller press like Lake Union if the self-published sales are appealing enough to tempt them. They have to see a positive trend that they think they can increase and profit from. When you choose to self-publish, you are essentially choosing not to promote that product in the traditional publishing arena. There are very, very few exceptions to the rule.

natsunoko 2 years ago

I wish I was that strong mate, Ill try to learn from every negative answer and turn it positive. Glad that there are people like you, strong and determined. We shall never surrender :) Yep, dont feel like writing today, need some walking by the sea tomorrow to come back stronger.

natsunoko 2 years ago

Thanks for the positive push mate. I really appreciate that. Maybe I was too focused on powerful bestsellers agents so I had few chances there being my first book. Ill have to rethought about smaller agents or publishers. Ill pick up Big Magic if you recommend it, and you are right about being asked for the full book is huge and I have to think that way. Good luck with your third agent! I hope you get a positive answer pretty soon. Let us know it please!

natsunoko 2 years ago

Patience, patience, patience. its so tough mate. I was waiting for an answer one by one (3 months each), but going to do somehow massive queries now. Hope you get a positive answer pretty soon. Thanks amigo.

cuttlefishcrossbow 2 years ago

Writers very often get 50, 100, 200 rejections before finding an agent with their fourth or fifth manuscript. It sucks. But the only way to stay sane in this business is to keep moving forward. I'm at over 100 collectively from three manuscripts, and the thing keeping me going is that I haven't given up. Perseverance turns those rejections into points of pride because you haven't surrendered just because it's difficult. And its ok if you don't feel like writing every now and then. Give yourself a day here and there to not be striving. Just get back up before the count of 10.

danimariexo 2 years ago

What gives me strength: the art of creating. Maybe you could pick up Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert- it really inspired me when I was feeling a little low. I've received 14 rejections so far. Most were due to my query letter not being, perhaps, as shiny as it could be. One agent asked for a full, and came back with a revise & resubmit request (positive, but not an offer of rep). Another agent read my work and passed. Now a third agent is deeply interested. The first and third agents have represented bestsellers, they are established professionals. I've had about a 10% success rate in the querying process, hoping for that to go up, but you just can't get down on the rejections. Seriously. Getting full requests is huge, you just need to connect with the right agent. You can always self-publish as well. The end goal of writing, though, probably shouldn't be your sales; most writers cannot ever quit their day jobs and many don't ever produce a bestseller. Of course, some do, but while that is the dream I thinking allowing publishing & sales to be your ultimate fulfillment might take joy away from the craft.

AuthorGRJerry 2 years ago

I just completed my second book, after self publishing with a small company (in the US). They praise the heck out of it, pump up my head and then grab every penny they can squeeze out of my blood vessels. After tons of dollars in their coffer, their great marketing & ad campaigns have sold nothing. I keep plodding along trying to make a dent in the local area to get my name & book out hoping I can make a dent. I have sent numerous queries to agents, but NO replies - probably not interested in something already published. So here I am with book #2, back to queries with the hope I find someone who is attracted to my type of genre - fantasy/horror - and can find a publisher who won't re-rape my behind. Patience, patience, patience - a no is better than no reply. Adios, amigo - it's time for another query.

natsunoko 2 years ago

Oh, my fault if it sounded like a brag. Dont really see the point on do it for just getting full requests (dont see the point of bragging at all), was more like a "it is really tough outside not because your book is bad, but because you are no one". Really, sorry again, Im not like that.

natsunoko 2 years ago

Thanks! Self publishing is in my head, before quitting. I wish I had 50 options here to query (there are probably around 20 agents and more or less the same quantity of publishers). Anyway, thanks mate four your words. Ill self publish if I keep having noes.

FatedTitan 2 years ago

I know you're down, but you're getting full requests and people saying they love it, just not the right fit for them. Most of us only dream of that. So while I sympathize with you, I also want to say that this comes off as more a subtle, 'woe is me' brag than anything else.

rrauwl 2 years ago

After getting around 40 'no' E-mails and 20 no replies, with not even one single request for a full manuscript (which quite often results in a 'no' afterwards according to statistics), I sat down and reassessed my life. First I looked at the rejection letters. Many of them were like yours. 'I loved the chapters, but they aren't quite a fit for me.' 'This was a great query, but I'm representing too many similar works right now.' It dawned on me that it is in NO agent's best interest to say 'This sucked.' Why burn bridges? So it will never be that blunt. Most agents don't have time for specific critique. They very likely send out various forms of 'positive rejection', either as a form letter or slightly tailored. So I sat down and read my own book. Slowly. From cover to cover. And at the end I asked myself, "Is there something here that the world really needs to see?" And I answered myself: "Fuck. Yes." And so I self published. The reasons, to be frank, don't matter. Maybe your book doesn't query well because it's off the wall in the first few chapters. Maybe agents are focused on stuff in other age ranges. Maybe you're just very unlucky. Doesn't matter. When you hit the point where you really can't take it any more... my number was 60, though as I understand it the over/under is closer to 100 these days... you might as well self publish. Use a pen name if you're not sure you want to attach yours to it. But if you're fed up, and I mean really fed up to the point that you refuse to query anymore, don't let it rot on the vine. Get it out there. Worst that can happen? It isn't popular. Maybe you get some useful feedback. Maybe you learn a bit more about marketing your books for the future. Best that can happen? Someone in the industry gets wind of it and reads it. They think it's out of sight, they think it's groovy baby. And they call you and ask you what you want to do next. That's the best feeling in the world. I know, because when it happened to me. I have no idea what happened for the rest of that entire week. I was on Cloud 9. But 1 or 2 rejections isn't enough. Shoot for at least 50. Query broadly, every agency in your genre in a country primarily speaking your language should be your goal. Then when their rejection cool off period is over, you hit the next agent at that agency. And you keep going. But never give up on the novel. Self publish that puppy when you tucker yourself out. You might be amazed.

Audric_Sage 2 years ago

Everyone hated Dune when it first released. Now it's seen as the grandfather of Sci-Fi. It's probably the literary equivalent of Lord of the Rings for Sci-Fi despite how much critics hated it when it first released. Now it's been turned into an entire franchise, adapted into a film, and is now being adapted into another one because the first one wasn't good enough to capture its themes correctly.

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