Rejections and the Art of Not Taking it all So Personally


BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Peter G 003by Peter Gajdics

I don’t like to tell anyone that my recently published book, The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir,  was rejected by over 400 agents and publishers. While working on the Acknowledgements page, in the months leading up to publication, I did ask my publisher if I could include a line thanking “the 350+ literary agents and 50+ publishers who said ‘no,’” since they “taught me to persevere.” My publisher cautioned me against adding such a line, since (as she wrote back), “normal folks don’t really understand that great stuff gets rejected for any number of reasons all the time, and that all writers have experienced rejection. They may wonder, ‘What is wrong with this guy? With his story? And they might start looking skeptically at the book or at you. I understand what you are saying here—but I think it might be revealing too much.”

I took my publisher’s point…

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