rejection and e-publishing

On the 4th of October, my (officially) first eBook goes life. It’s called ‘Urchin King’ and tells the story of a boy who discovers he’s the Royal Heir’s twin who should have been killed at birth (join our mailing list if you want to learn more). I wrote it 2008/2009 during a course I took, and it garnered full requests by several agents. Eventually, all rejected it.

Of course, it always hurts when someone rejects you but I didn’t take it personally. Rejection is part of the business. I’ve been writing for a long time (I’m not going to tell you for how long or you could figure out how old I am), and got more rejections to show for it that acceptances.

The funny side is, that most rejections are personalized. The editors loved my stories and my writing style but…
Believe me, I looked very closely at those but…s. And I found that most traditional publishers (at least in Germany) are not really looking for something different. They want the same old stuff, it only has to feel different. New trends are always imported from abroad (mainly the US), and new writers are hardly ever given a chance, especially in fantasy. Sciene Fiction hasn’t been published for German kids by traditional publishers in ages, and the last historical fiction for kids I saw is more than 15 years old.

Is it a wonder so many new authors turn to e-publishing? Sure, I have to invest my own money to get my stories edited. I have to use my own time to advertise them and find readers. But why should that bother me? I put months, and in some cases years, into writing my books. I know the writing is up to what editors and readers expect. If I am not excited and ready to take a risk on my own books, who else will?

That said, be very careful when/if you want to self publish. Do spend time, effort, and money to create a professional product. You can only win readers by doing your best.


About Cat-Gerlach

I am an author and a triple mum. I am living in Northern Germany with my family and my dog.

Posted on September 26, 2011, in about writing, Authors - Katharina Gerlach. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Bravo, Kat. I can personally vouch for the quality of your storytelling and I think you are of course making the right decision here. Publishing houses have had control for maybe 20% of the history of publishing, the rest of the time authors did it on their own just like we are. Sooner or later, they will be coming to you!
    This is a tale I haven’t read and I intend to pick it up right away.

  2. Congratulations! Your story sounds intriguing and has a fresh perspective. I’m liking what I’m seeing among the indies – I’ve already added two authors to my “I can’t wait until their next book” list. In both cases this was their first novel.

    As for rejections, I’ve also gotten handwritten notes added to a form rejection letter. I’ve also gotten no response at all. Some came late and the reason was “inelasticity of typeface” which means there’s no room in the anthology for your story.

    It seems to me that traditional publishing is a lot like entering a writing contest. There’s only so much budget for new authors and no matter how good ten novels are, if they only have budget for eight novels two are going to be bounced.

    • That’s why I am so excited about the new “Indie” possibilities. I know I’ll have to work hard, but I’ve always done that so the difference in time and effort will only be where to concentrate my efforts.

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