10 Essential Tips - How To Overcome Book Rejections
how to overcome the book rejections

How to Overcome Book Rejections: 10 Essential Tips

A writer’s journey can never be complete without the experience of rejection. From aspiring authors to seasoned experts, most of them have experienced a rejection in the starting of their career. We know it’s a difficult feeling to process, but we want to let you know that rejections are common in a writer’s journey to success. Rather than thinking it’s all over for your writing career, you should embrace it. Think of them as battle scars you get along the way to success. 

You’re not alone; even the most renowned authors have seen their fair share of rejection before their first book became a best seller. Take Stephen Hawking, for example. Did you know the guy faced more than 30 rejections before his first novel, Carrie, found its way onto bookshelves and became a hit? Dealing with rejection is hard, but there are ways to get rid of that hard feeling and get your writing back on track. To help you get back on your feet, we’ve developed a list of how to overcome book rejections. So make sure you read it all the way through so you can keep trying until you find a publisher ready to take a chance.

How To Overcome Book Rejections?

1. Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

You often see that some writers who took writing on a whim got a successful deal with a book publishing house on their first try. That, my friend, is called being lucky. In the writing world, almost 90% of writers aren’t that fortunate. So, if you feel disappointed, frustrated, or just plain bad that you couldn’t score a deal while others could, remember that you share the same boat with millions of other fellow rejected writers, including some renowned names like J.K Rowling, Agatha Christie, and William S. Golding. 

Don’t be hard on yourself if it’s your first time being rejected by a publisher; in fact, give yourself a pat on the back for being brave enough to send the manuscript. With the right attitude, you’ll surely make your book mainstream.

2. Take Feedback Onboard

“Sometimes you must hurt in order to know, fall in order to grow, and lose in order to gain, because life’s greatest lessons are learned through pain.” – Masashi Kishimoto

Rejections are painful, but instead of sulking about how not even a single publisher gave you a chance, consider learning from that experience. If you received a rejection letter with feedback on why it was rejected, consider taking that feedback to heart. Even if you don’t intend to follow it, give it due consideration. 

If a publisher has given feedback, it’s evidence that your book’s writing shows promise, and with a bit of polishing, you can go even further. So, rather than looking at your book manuscript rejections with displeasure, use them as motivation to grow as a writer.

3. Patience Is Key

“Good things comes to those who wait.”  – Violet Fane

We’ve seen a lot of writers, especially new ones in the industry, who give up on book writing after they get rejected or hear no response from the publisher they sent their manuscripts to. In these situations, you need to understand that patience is key. 

Publishers and literary agents are humans, too, and with a busy schedule, long wait times are expected. If you don’t hear back from them at all, consider sending them an email. Even if you face rejection, be patient here as well. 

4. Don’t Give Up On Writing

Some people often blame themselves for anything that goes wrong in life, like rejection. When this happens, to ensure they never relive that experience, they give up on what they’re doing. Playing the self-blame game can be destructive. 

Rather than just blaming yourself and giving up entirely on your dreams of publishing a book, learn from the experience of why it happened. Keeping a level head and viewing your actions can better determine the reason for rejection and help get you back on track.

5. Don’t Take It Personally

Your book manuscript is just one submission in a very large pile of submissions. Just because a single publisher rejected it doesn’t mean it has no worth. Understand that there are hundreds of publishers out there, and you don’t have to give up if you’re done with one. Not taking it personally is another way you need to learn how to overcome the book rejection.

6. Develop Thick Skin

“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent, he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” – Harper Lee

Rejection isn’t something most writers enjoy. But it’s a part of the writer’s career. So, in order to ensure you don’t get fazed by them, you need to develop  thick skin. Don’t take book manuscript rejections harshly, and neither dwell on them. Having thick skin is crucial if you want to survive in the writing industry.

7. Take Some Time Off Writing

If you’ve faced numerous rejections from countless publishers, maybe it’s time to step back and give yourself some time to rest. Even if you don’t admit it, rejections can take their toll, especially on your mental health. It can lead to stress. Prolonged stress can negatively impact your health, so it’s crucial that you give yourself some rest before you get back to the drawing board. Looking after yourself while writing will surely benefit you in the long run.

8. Be Professional Throughout Rejection

Some people don’t take rejections well. While some cry in the corner to relieve themselves of the feeling, some blow out in a fit of rage. In these instances, they sometimes take to social media or email to banter about the publisher. This kind of approach can often ruin your relationship and future opportunities.

So, if you do relate to the latter one, be sure to take rejections calmly and professionally. If you truly want to learn how to overcome book rejections, then rather than making a fuss over the internet, send a follow-up email thanking you for taking the time to go through your work and offer feedback. This way, you’ll make an impression and improve your chances of getting approved next time.

9. Consider Going Back To The Basics

Sometimes, you have to take a step back to move forward. If you suffer rejection and receive feedback regarding your writing along with it, then it may be time to go back to the roots of writing. 

Consider looking at your writing style objectively to learn what weaknesses you possess. It may be a good idea to hire a professional editing service to identify areas for improvement.

10. Fuel Your Fire

“I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.”  – Sylvia Plath.

Rejections hurt, but they don’t just have to be proof of failure. Learning to embrace them is the best way to overcome book rejections. Rather than cry about why it happened, use it as an opportunity to motivate you to get your book published. Consider framing your first rejection so you can remember that feeling and strive to improve.

Common Reasons For Book Manuscript Rejections

Now you know how to overcome book rejection, but what are the reasons that publishers reject book manuscripts? Let’s take a look:


  1. One reason a publisher would reject a manuscript is because they found the manuscript to be full of grammatical errors and spelling typos. These errors can negatively impact the manuscript, often leading to rejection.
  2. Publishers don’t generally contact the author, but instead, they work closely with literary agents. The agents are tasked with finding manuscripts that have the potential to become books. So, for writing, the primary source of contact with publishers is the literary agent.  These literary agents have to screen through several manuscripts to find potential ones. To make their job a bit easier, agents often stick to a few genres and focus on those manuscripts rather than going through every submitted manuscript. So, if you do deal with a book manuscript rejection, chances are that the agent you submitted to doesn’t fit the agent’s genre.

Follow These Best Practices to Prevent Book Rejections

1. Give Your Manuscript a Thorough Read

The publisher or agent can take weeks or even months to respond, depending on whether they approve or reject your manuscript. Couple that with the time you spent writing the book and spending a significant amount of time on the book. So, when a rejection is handed, it obviously will hurt. 

In some instances, the agent or publisher rejects the manuscript because it is full of typos and grammatical errors. It happens when the manuscript is sent without giving it a thorough look. To reduce the chance of rejection, make sure that you proofread what you wrote before sending it out. If that proves to be a hassle, consider hiring a professional editor to help with finalizing your book manuscript. 

2. Work On Your Queries

To get your book published, you need to find a literary agent that will let you connect with publishers. To do so, you need to send out query letters. A query letter is a one-page writing proposal that pitches your idea or work to generate interest from agents.  

If the agent finds the query letter interesting, they may request the manuscript or a few chapters to determine if they should move forward. So, preparing a well-written query letter will do you good. Here are some pointers to crafting a letter that gets you traction:

3. Consider Self-Publishing

Literary agents and publishers aren’t the only channels through which you can get your book published. You could also try the self-publishing route. Self-publishing involves handling the publishing aspect yourself. Although it is easy to get your book self-published, managing it yourself can be troublesome. 

That’s why you could hire a self-publishing company to take care of it. The company can handle all the aspects of publishing for a fee while ensuring you have complete rights to your book once it is published. This way, you can generate more revenue if your book turns out to be a success.

Final Note

In conclusion, rejections are a hurdle every writer must overcome on their path to publication. By following the blog on how to overcome book rejections, you’re now equipped to handle these setbacks and persevere on your journey. Remember, even the most talented authors faced rejection. Embrace the lessons learned from each “no,” and keep honing your craft. With resilience, patience, and a positive attitude, you’ll surely overcome book rejections and one day see your name on a published book. So, keep writing, keep learning, and never give up on your dream!