Rejection by publishers and agents is the least of a writer’s worries these days. What disturbs me is the changing industry and what the Internet has done to create a means to avoid rejection.
Self-publishing is on the rise thanks to the Internet. It’s a quicker path and unless you decide to reject yourself, publication is a sure thing. Some writers are also following this path in hopes of being noticed by large publishers. Reading Jim C. Hines novel survey results shows this isn't the case. But what will the future hold with more self-published novels out there? I’m more inclined to believe these books will be reduced back to manuscript level and publishers will be even less interested in weeding through them.
It used to mean something to win contests, but they're popping up all over the Internet, not necessarily from a reputable group. The Courier is a perfect example. I don’t expect the contest I co-won to hold much weight with a publisher, considering the contest is run by my agent.
How can authors possibly accept rejection when they have so many social networks to feed their egos? I’ve even heard about authors creating fictitious followers they use to comment on their own blog to make themselves look more popular. Huh? There are also those writers who pester (or should I say stalk) everyone on the social sites to increase fans or followers. I was personally pestered by a few authors a couple years ago, in hopes I'd buy their books. There was never a friendly conversation from these people. Only countless emails about how wonderful their book was and requests to confirm I'd bought a copy.
I spent a lot of time on writer’s sites like Booksie and Authonomy last year, in hopes of receiving constructive criticism on my writing. But Greg’s post yesterday was right on. Writers only want to hear how wonderful their own novel is. I've even seen profile pages that announce only positive comments are welcome. I question whether many of the members actually read other writers' work. It's more obvious they figure dropping by to say something nice and generic about your novel will get them a glowing review of their own. Out on sites like Authonomy, you can claw your way on to a HarperCollins editor's desk. Imagine the unethical practices going on over there.
Rejection doesn’t end with an acceptance letter from a publisher. Lately, I’ve been watching the book review blogs and don’t like what I’m seeing. There are virtually thousands of reviewers who are competing to get free books, the most author interviews, review the most books and get noticed themselves. Alienate a few of these people and an author risks having their book rejected by parts of the reviewing community, even if it is a good book. In addition, I really don’t like the idea of someone reviewing my book after spending two hours skimming through the text.
I know I’ve just touched the surface here. So now I hand the discussion over to our readers. How else do you see writers avoiding rejection?
Now, I'd like to announce that this is my last week blogging with the Wicked Writers. Due to a lack of progress on my novel series this year, I've decided to concentrate on writing, editing, and paying my rejection dues to publishers. I've had a great time, everyone! Thanks so much for dropping by to read.