Here is the full text of the rejection e-mail I received nearly two weeks ago from my first-choice publisher:
Dear Mr Rupured:Thank you so much for submitting your manuscript, Glass Houses. Upon review, we find that the work does not match our current list needs, and we are unable to accept this manuscript for publication.Another publisher may be looking for just this kind of work to fit their upcoming schedule and we wish you success with it.We appreciate the opportunity to have reviewed this work.Sincerely,<name removed>
I know rejection is part of the process. But receiving such an impersonal rejection for what everyone agrees is a very personal manuscript was disheartening. I don’t blame the publisher. Providing guidance about how to improve the manuscript comes with an acceptance, not a rejection.
Over the last week and a half, I’ve convinced myself that Glass Houses will never get published. I’ve generated a long, mental list of reasons why, too–all variations on the theme of “I’m not good enough.” Sigh.
I haven’t given up. I’m moving forward with my plans to pay an editor to help me fix the problems I know about. Hopefully she’ll also find other ways to improve the manuscript. She’s got me on her calendar for the first week of August.
Just when I was about to tell the editor to forget it, five people either e-mailed or called to tell me they finally finished reading Glass Houses. They told me how much they enjoyed reading it and said they hadn’t laughed so much or so hard for a long time. They also encouraged me to keep trying to find a publisher.
Thanks Janet, Jenny, Maurice, Betty, and Liz. You didn’t just make my day–you restored my faith in myself and in the manuscript I worked so hard to write. I’ve shared the manuscript with more than a hundred friends and relatives. It’s been a long time since I sent anyone the file, and longer still since I’ve heard from anyone who finished. Hearing from so many people at once is unusual.
Coincidence? Perhaps. I prefer to think my Aunt Toodles pulled some strings to keep me from getting discouraged. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know I’m right. If you haven’t, let me know–I’d be honored to send you the file. Reading the book will make it easier to understand the things I write about here on…
My Glass House