Dealing with rejection from agents and publishers

Let’s face it: if you’re a creative person, you’re going to face rejection at some point in your career. In fact, you’ll probably face a lot of rejection.

But there’s one hard fact I want you to internalize…

Rejection doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

There are many reasons why an agent or publisher might reject your manuscript or book proposal. It might be that their taste doesn’t mesh with yours. Or they already have a project that’s similar to yours. Or they think your work isn’t quite “prime-time ready” yet.

Regardless of the reason, it hurts when you get a “No, thanks” response. But I want you to pick yourself up and keep going.

Because rejection isn’t failure. Rejection is opportunity.

What do I mean by that?

Every time you face a challenge in life, or your creative work is rejected, it’s an opportunity for you to grow. Whenever you force yourself to do things or confront things that are unpleasant or uncomfortable, it’s the process of facing them and persisting that helps you mature as a person and artist.

Real Stories of Rejection

In my very first episode of Janna Co. TV, I chat with my good friend and collaborator Misako Rocks! about rejection.

Dealing with rejection from publishers and agents: Janna Co. YouTube show

We’ve been friends for about 15 years. Guess how we met? You’ll find out in the video — it involves rejection.

I’ll also reveal the story of my very first attempt to break into children’s book publishing. It involves rejection.

We’ll talk about the current project we’re working on together. It involves rejection.

Through all these stories, we’ll discuss how we’ve faced rejection in the past and how we’ve learned to deal with it now. We’ll talk about “saying good-bye to your pride” and embracing the cards you’re dealt.

And finally, we’ll talk about how often you feel excited and scared of rejection at the same time. This is a normal human response, and it’s a good sign. It means you’re pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. You’re pushing yourself toward the things that really matter to you.

After you’ve watched the video, I’d love to hear from you.

How do you handle rejection? Has rejection ever helped you in an unexpected way? Is a fear of rejection keeping you stuck?

Leave a comment below and let me know.

The more we share our stories of rejection, the more we help each other. The world needs us to keep pushing forward, no matter how many roadblocks fall onto our path.