5 Effective Ways to Deal with Rejection from Literary Agents or Publishers

1. Embrace Rejection as Part of the Process

Receiving that dreaded rejection letter can be painful. However, the first step in dealing with rejection is to embrace it as a natural part of the writing and publishing process. Even celebrated authors, such as J.K. Rowling and Stephen King, faced numerous rejections before achieving their monumental success.

Understanding that rejection is not a reflection of your worth as a writer, but rather a necessary part of the selection process, can help you approach it with a healthier perspective. View rejection as a stepping stone on your path to success, a rite of passage that all writers must endure.

2. Don't Take It Personally

When you receive a rejection letter, it’s crucial not to take it personally. Rejections are primarily based on factors like market trends, timing, or a literary agent’s or publisher’s specific preferences. They do not reflect your capabilities as a writer or the potential of your work.

To avoid taking rejection personally, consider these tips:

  • Separate your work from yourself: Remember that your manuscript is not an extension of your identity. Rejections are about the work, not you as an individual.
  • Focus on constructive feedback: If a literary agent or publisher provides feedback, analyze it objectively and use it to improve your work. Constructive criticism can be invaluable for your growth as a writer.
  • Develop resilience: Understand that even renowned authors faced rejection. The key to success is not letting rejection deter you from your writing goals.

3. Keep Refining Your Work

Rejection can be an opportunity for growth. Instead of dwelling on rejection, channel your energy into honing your craft. Use the feedback you receive, if available, as a guide for making your work stronger. Continually revising and improving your manuscript can increase its chances of acceptance in the future.

Consider these strategies:

  • Seek beta readers: Get feedback from fellow writers or trusted friends to gain fresh perspectives on your work.
  • Revise with a critical eye: Approach your manuscript with the intent of making it the best it can be. Polish your writing, refine your characters, and strengthen your plot.
  • Professional editing: If possible, invest in professional editing services to ensure your manuscript is of the highest quality.

4. Diversify Your Submissions

Rejection from one literary agent or publisher should not be the end of the road. To increase your chances of success, diversify your submissions. The publishing industry is vast, with many literary agents and publishers specializing in various genres and niches.

Consider the following strategies:

  • Research thoroughly: Identify literary agents and publishers who specialize in your genre or niche. Tailor your submissions to agents or publishers who have a track record of representing similar works.
  • Simultaneous submissions: Many literary agents and publishers accept simultaneous submissions. This means you can submit your manuscript to multiple agents or publishers at the same time, increasing your chances of receiving an acceptance.
  • Small presses and independent publishers: Don’t overlook smaller publishing houses or independent publishers. They often have more flexibility and may be more receptive to new voices in the industry.

5. Develop Resilience and Perseverance

The path to publication is filled with obstacles, and rejection is one of the most significant. However, resilience and perseverance are your greatest allies in overcoming the challenges that aspiring authors face. Successful authors are those who didn’t give up in the face of rejection and adversity.

Here are some tips to develop resilience:

  • Maintain a writing routine: Consistency in your writing routine can help you stay focused and motivated, even in the face of rejection.
  • Join writing communities: Connect with fellow writers who can provide support, encouragement, and advice during your journey.
  • Celebrate small wins: Whether it’s positive feedback from beta readers, a request for a full manuscript, or even personal writing milestones, celebrate these small victories to keep your spirits high.


Dealing with rejection from literary agents or publishers is a challenging but essential part of the writer’s journey. It’s essential to embrace rejection as a natural part of the process, avoid taking it personally, continually refine your work, diversify your submissions, and develop the resilience and perseverance needed to overcome obstacles.

Remember that the path to becoming a published author is rarely straightforward, and many renowned authors faced rejection before achieving success. By approaching rejection with a growth mindset and an unwavering commitment to your craft, you’ll increase your chances of eventual acceptance and publication. Rejection can be a stepping stone to your success as an author.




Thrillerfest 2019


THRILLERFEST 2019 ThrillerFest 2019. Thrillerfest is the annual, week-long event, held every year during July in New York City (The Grand Hyatt Hotel) where acclaimed

Read More »
The Greatest Generation


HIS FRIENDS CALLED HIM ‘ACE’ I spent this past Father’s Day (2019) in New Jersey with my father and brother. It had been long time

Read More »


I would love to hear your thoughts about this article.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: