Swoon Author Jen Wilde: Pitch (Im)Perfect
With the release of my third Swoon Reads book, Going Off Script, coming next week, I wanted to stop by the blog and write about something that doesn’t get talked about enough: all the ideas that never make it onto the shelves.
As readers and writers, it’s easy to see the perfectly styled social media photos of our fave books or the packed book launch parties and forget all the rejection and scrapped ideas that led to those moments. And something I want aspiring writers to remember is that rejection is part of the process, even the biggest authors still get rejected long after they find success, and it doesn’t mean you should give up.
Queens of Geek was my first Swoon Reads book to be published, but it wasn’t the first book I submitted. I’d written a paranormal romance that I uploaded to the Swoon Reads site and thought for sure that it would be chosen (ha!). When it wasn’t, I was shattered. But I took a moment to be sad, then went straight back to the drawing board. That’s when I wrote Queens of Geek.
The Brightsiders was my second Swoon Reads book to be published, but it wasn’t the first idea I’d had. I’d originally started drafting a superhero story, but after spending months and months on it, I realized it wasn’t going to work and scrapped the whole thing. Well, almost the whole thing—I kept the band that the main character was obsessed with, a band called The Brightsiders.
My new book, Going Off Script, is my third Swoon Reads book, but you guessed it; it wasn’t my first idea. I’d submitted three or four different pitches to the team, started creating the characters, outlining the plots and even writing sample chapters. But none of them made it through the acquisition process. It was frustrating and disheartening, but like I said earlier, rejection is part of the process. Besides, the idea that I did end up with is my favorite so far, and soon it will be sitting on bookshelves in stores all over the world.
Now? I’m working on ideas for my next book. I’m back at the drawing board again, after my first few pitches didn’t make the cut. And I’m writing this post to remind myself that rejection is part of the process.