For some, writing can be a passion, something more than the average person would feel. But publishing is a cut throat, profit-led business that puts the publisher before the author.
Just having your manuscript read and even considered for publishing is tough. This is especially difficult for writers who choose a genre that is already saturated. If a publishing company receives twenty of the same kind of book each month, it does not matter if your manuscript is very good. Publishers will always choose to publish what they see is the most marketable manuscripts. For publishers to survive the tough business, they must choose the one that has the most potential. Oftentimes, the profit instinct robs publishers of any kind of vision or sensitivity.
There are stories, I am sure you have heard, of authors who have submitted to a dozen publishers and have been rejected each time. And just because these authors believed in their own work so much, they persisted, got published, and guess what? Some of the best selling authors today had to face the same ordeal.
There are even some cases where the publishers are quite rude about their rejections. Have you ever seen the classic teen horror movie “Carrie”? This movie is based on a Stephen King novel. This novel was a great success once published. A blockbuster movie and even a remake of it were created. But before “Carrie” was published, Stephen King endured a dozen of humiliating rejections.
Another great example is that of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone written by J.K Rowling. Harry Potter was rejected by dozens of publishers. Some of the top publishing companies like Harper Collins, Bloomsbury and Penguin rejected the idea of children wanting to read long novels.
It happened to many famous authors and the same can happen to you. These authors must have some very thick skin to move forward after so much rejection. Or they may have also just given up on finding a publisher and published their own work.
It takes real dedication to be an author. Writing is solitary work that needs discipline and love. It’s certianly not something that everyone is able to do. The most important thing is to stand by your work when contacting a publisher, hope for the best but also plan for the worst.