After My Manuscript was Rejected by Suzanne Gilchrist

We have author Suzanne Gilchrist sharing about rejections. 

Suzanne Gilchrist lives in the Hunter Valley, Australia with her family and pets and is the author of over twenty books, several of which have finalled in writing contests. As S. E. Gilchrist, she writes science fiction, ancient historical, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic romances and romantic suspense. As Suzanne Gilchrist, she writes women’s fiction and contemporary small-town romances, often with a splash of suspense.
Suzanne takes a keen interest in the environment and animal welfare and loves bushwalking and kayaking, spending time with family and friends and walking her dogs. She co-runs Hunter Romance Writers and is the organiser of several group writing ventures.

Suzanne Gilchrist is published with Escape Publishing / Harlequin Australia and is an indie author.
Suzanne Gilchrist on the web:
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My manuscript was rejected - what will I do now?

Not all are lucky enough to be given the key to the golden gates of traditional publishing straight up. I'm both traditionally published and also indie published and I've been on the receiving end of what really amounts to a 'dear John' letter in the publishing world. 

I won't sugar coat it - its hard. You've invested your soul and a huge chunk of your time in labouring over your work only to have it rejected. But don't lose heart. You maybe able to use that rejection letter (or email) to your advantage.

Sometimes the editor might explain why your book doesn't fit with their current lines or business plan or what they felt could be improved upon. If its a case of not being suitable. Awesome - just give the next publishing company you submit to due diligence and ensure your book may be a good fit for them.

If the editor hasn't given a reason, why not query? Be professional, courteous and thank them for their time but ask if they could give a brief advice on why your book didn't make the cut. 

If the editor has given you a reason - that's the next best news you can receive (apart from a 'yes - we love your book and want to sign you up'!). 

Now you have something to work with. As soon as you're processed the disappointment, put your emotions aside and take a long, clinical and critical review of your work.  

Whilst my current release, Take Me Home, is indie published and I didn't run the gauntlet of a submission process, my previous book, Cotton Field Dreams, is traditionally published. But the road to achieving a print contract was rocky. Cotton Field Dreams was part of another group writing series I organised - the Mindalby Outback Romance series. I submitted a series proposal to the publisher which incorporated a brief overview of the series and underlying story arc together with each member's story synopsis and author bio. We received a positive reception and were requested to submit the first three chapters of our books, once they were ready. A few months later, after submission of our first three chapters, we were asked to submit the full versions of every member's books. 

I know - exciting! However, after many nail-biting months this submission hit a rejection road block. The publisher still loved the concept but wanted us to drastically change our parallel timeline concept. This meant that all seven of us had to re-plot and re-write if we wanted to pursue the traditional publishing route for that series.

What we did - we worked together to find a solution and improve every member's story. We analysed our plots, studied our timelines, decided what we should and would delete, and what we could write instead. For a few of us, it meant quite a significant number of changes and loads of re-writing were involved. 

Several challenging months later we were rewarded with a contract.

Whilst this initial rejection had a happy ending, it's not always the case. Recently, I had a crime story rejected however, I haven't given up on it and am in the processing of reviewing my story to see what didn't work and what I can do to make my book stronger. 

So to recap - put your emotions aside and critically evaluate your story. Ask for help from either the editor or seek a critique from a writer friend. There are also writers and editors who offer professional manuscript assessments (for a fee of course!). Mine them on Google and check out their websites. I've used their services several times and found them invaluable. 

Be prepared to work hard, be objective and remember, sometimes it may be necessary to place that book aside for a while. Gut wrenching, I know, but you can always come back to it later. Sometimes giving yourself and your book some distance for several months will work in your favour.

Good luck. Rejections sting but the great thing about writing is that this is a craft that can always be improved.

Take Me Home (Bindarra Creek A Town Reborn)

Forgiving the past was too painful until now.

Almost forty, Abby Taylor has built a new life for herself in the small country town of Bindarra Creek. When an old friend convinces her to give two adolescent boys a temporary home, she is torn between a growing love for these orphans and the grief in her past.

After his marriage fell apart, Roman Taylor has focused on his career. An unexpected phone call sends him rushing to Abby’s side where he is drawn into his estranged wife’s new life – a life that could offer a future he thought he’d lost forever.
Will they seize this second chance to have a family of their own? Or will fate once again destroy their dreams?

Welcome to Bindarra Creek – A Town Reborn, a fictional town set on the western slopes of the New England tablelands. Take me Home is the first book in this new group writing venture series. With a community full of quirky characters, the books feature compelling romance, heart-warming family life, drama, and even suspense.

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  1. Interesting, it was great to read☺

  2. Thanks for the comment on my blog, appreciated. My only effort at writing I put straight on kindle and by-passed having it published!
    Have a good day Diane

  3. Thank you Nas, I enjoyed reading this post.

    1. Hi Denise - thanks so much for dropping by and reading my post.

  4. Good advice from Suzanne, and the books sound good.

    1. Christine, thanks so much for joining me here. Hope you have a great day.

  5. Rejection is disappointing, but necessary sometimes to make the book better.

    1. That's so true Liz. Thanks for joining me here.