Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rejections: Form Letter vs. Personal Note

This month I've gotten two rejection letters from publishers. One, was the form letter and the other was a personal note with comments letting me know I was close this time.

I totally understand the reason for a form letter. Editors are busy and taking time to send personal notes to everyone just doesn't make sense. They'd spend all day writing rejection notes instead of the many other tasks on their plate.

However...I've gotten some less than business-like form rejections in my short career. Like the bad copy of a bad copy rejection. I read one writer complain about getting this kind of rejection letter. He said something to the effect that it diminished him. That the editor or assistant couldn't take the time to at least send a nice form rejection to him, as if he wasn't worth the effort. While I'm sure this isn't the editorial thought behind the letter, sometimes it makes us writers wonder what message they are trying to send.

Then there was the rejection which consisted of "I really don't like this." scrawled across my cover sheet and mailed back to me. No signature, no reason why they didn't like it. I'd much rather have a Thanks but no thanks. Or even that form letter.

What about you? Are you getting your share of rejection letters? If not, then you need to be sending out more work.

Make it your goal this month to get a story, article or query out there.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

I guess if I sent something out every once in a while I could get a rejection. LOL! Actually, waiting to hear back from the publisher on my children's story, but I fear it will be rejected. I'm hoping not, but if it happens, it happens. I'll just have to find another place to send it.

I talk big about saying "no" to over commitment, so I try not to take on too much. With my busy family life, I make sure to get my articles over to Writer2Writer once a month and then work on other things as I can. Once the kids are in school things should change for me...unless I have to go back to work too.