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From the Swoon Squad: Don't Give Up (Part IV)

Hey there, Swooners,

We are so excited to welcome two new authors into the Swoon family! There were SO many great manuscripts to choose from this season, and we want to thank all of you again for your awesome ratings and comments that pointed us toward these new books.

We truly wish we could select every last manuscript on site. Every single one of them has something special going for it. We know that not being selected for publication can be discouraging. But we want you all to know that we are rooting for you. Don't. Give. Up.

A few of our previously selected Swoon authors have some words of wisdom they wanted to share with you. We hope you find some inspiration in their experiences.

Keep those chins up and those submissions rolling in. We can't wait for the day when we can select you, too.

♥ Swoon Reads Staff


Sandy Hall

Author of A Little Something Different,
Signs Point to Yes,
Been Here All Along,
and A Prom to Remember

I’m here today to talk about a handy-dandy three-step process for getting over rejection. Rejection is, sadly, a fact of life, and especially a fact of publishing life. (Each of these steps starts with an “S” because I’m a fan of alliteration.)

Step #1 – Stewing

Let yourself wallow for a little bit. Don’t let the wallowing take over your life. Just let the rejection sink in for a day or two.

Step #2 – Soothing

Make yourself feel better with something simple, but special. Eat a cupcake, take a bubble bath, watch a movie that makes you happy. Do not think about your book. This should take another day or two.

Step #3 – Sweating

Get back to work. In this case, work equals writing, obviously. And there are two easy ways you can get back to it.

One, you could take a new look at the book you posted. Go through all of the edit letters the Swoon staff has posted on the blog. Read your book with a critical eye. Let other, different, people read it. See what they think and get down to the hard work of editing.

Or two, start a new project. Maybe you’ve had a shiny new plot bunny bouncing around recently that you’re just itching to try. Let it out and see where it goes.

The most important part of step #3 is getting back to writing in some way as soon as possible. Don’t let this rejection be the stumbling block that keeps you from doing what you love.

Rejection is terrible, but you can get past it. Good luck and I believe in you!


Chani Lynn Feener

Author of Amid Stars and Darkness
and Between Frost and Fury

Rejection sucks. Trust me, I know. But I print every single one of my rejection letters and keep them in a folder (it’s a thick folder), because each and every one of them means I didn’t give up. Even when I felt so low, and so gutted from yet another “sorry, this isn’t a good fit for us” or “thanks anyway,” I kept trying, and you definitely should too. The thing is, it might not feel like you’ve accomplished anything after receiving a pass by a publisher or an agent, but you have. You wrote a book. Do you know how impressive that is? So many people dream of becoming an author but never actually get around to writing a manuscript. The fact that you have means you’re already on the right path.

I think the most important thing to remember is becoming a published author is typically a long game. It (sadly) doesn’t happen overnight, and (sadly again) comes with loads of hurtles and rejections. When that happens, take the time to be disappointed—after all your hard work, why wouldn’t you be?—but then get back to it. Check over your manuscript again—there’s always room for improvement in any manuscript, whether it was written by a veteran author or an aspiring one—or sit down and try out a new idea. Sometimes working on something fresh helps me see things that can be improved in a past project, and even if it doesn’t, your writing will get better the more you do it!

Don’t give up, and don’t lose faith in yourself. Sure, that rejection stings right now, but eventually you’ll get a “yes,” and this will just be another hurtle you overcame in pursuit of your writing career. It’ll be well worth it.


Danielle Banas

Author of The Supervillain and Me

Hi Swooners! I watched Christopher Robin right before I wrote this, so forgive me for starting with a very appropriate Winnie the Pooh quote:

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

Sometimes someday comes quickly. Other times it only appears after numerous failures, a quarter-life crisis, and dozens of people asking the always terrifying question of, "Danielle, you just graduated college, what are you going to do now???"

"Ummm...trying to get a book published," I answered.

They smiled at the time, but I could distinctly feel them feeling a little sorry for me because, unfortunately, publishing is full of So. Much. Rejection. It's easy to feel like you're shouting into the void, like maybe you're not good enough or you don't matter. To this day, I still sometimes feel that way, but then I tell myself these two very important things:

1.) Anyone who has the drive to complete a manuscript is crazy talented! That is a huge accomplishment, and it's something that you shouldn't take lightly.

2.) I write because I can't not tell stories, and if you're reading this post, then you're probably a lot like me—and it's going to take more than one tiny "no" to make you stop. Because really in the grand scheme of the universe, this little no is pretty insignificant. This is an industry full of no's, and it doesn't mean that your story isn't awesome or you're not awesome. It just means that, for whatever reason, it's not the best fit right now.

So wallow for a bit if you'd like. Eat ice cream or drink a big fruity beverage with a little umbrella in the glass—pick whatever poison you prefer; I personally enjoy both. Use this time to read more and write more. Keep going. Your story matters. You matter. And you will get there someday.

Looking for potential ways to improve your manuscript? Take a look at some of our previous Open Edit Letters explaining some of the most common reasons manuscripts weren't selected:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII


And be sure to check out Part I, Part II, and Part III of this pep talk series.

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Swoon Reads Staff

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