A Strategy to Overcome Rejection

by Larry Strattner

Even if you have a good book it's difficult to get accepted for publication. Some fine authors have sent hundreds of queries and worked for years to find homes for excellent work. If you want to get published you have to be willing to face a landslide of rejections.

I'm getting close to completion on a couple of new books. I think I've got a way to get them published, increase sales to more than eight copies and get me a best seller going. I discussed it with my friend Lennie, the Three Card Monty guy, author of, "Hey, Stupid. Yeah, I'm Talkin' to You."

“Hey, Lennie,  I've come up with a new strategy for the writing game, to be played from the author's side.”

“You're always with the new strategies. Why don't you submit your queries, outlines, excerpts and synopses, five hundred times like the rest of us and sooner or later some starving agent will pick you up? Why destroy yourself with hope and dreams when there aren't any? They don't call your genre “fiction” for no reason. Don't delude yourself with fictional constructs.”

 “Good point, Bro. But there's no fiction here. I developed this approach after I read the quote from a writer, or someone claiming to be a writer, stating, “If your work is good you will get published. Just keep at it.

“Sounded  solid. I took it to heart.  The sage who got quoted did not say what he meant by, “keep at it. So I construed this as a way to, “keep at it.”” “I considered the words, counted the polite declines on the Excel Spreadsheet I maintain to avoid burdening any agent by sending my same pitiful entreaty twice. It occurred to me to send the same agent the same package one hundred times in the hope he or she would eventually read page two of the letter before telling me the work isn't a good fit, but decided this was an excessive expectation, too pat an approach.”

“Who's Pat?

“Never mind.  I wrote the following letter.”


Dear _(fill in agent or publisher name_,

I have recently completed a 90,000 word manuscript, a wonderful ride through life, chock full of tall tales and homespun wit.

The storytelling caresses the synapses. It's funny, smart and totally different. The plot spins smartly along to an unpredictable ending.

The characters do not look past life they look through it. They may be otherworldly. Heroic, somber, awe-inspiring and ruefully comic they engage with the tremendous questions of life and death and have the weight to take them on.

Eagerly awaited by many readers this novel brings my former books to a deeply satisfying conclusion.

Genre, setting, plot, are all inconsequential in this sprawling tale of debauchery, revenge and redemption. Romance, thriller and literary readers alike will be caught up in the intensity of this story.

Although several of my publishing contacts have expressed an interest, I prefer to work, on this project, with people of high reputation and integrity. If you find this proposition intriguing send me a mailing address to keep me out of the piles of inane queries I am sure you receive every day and I will rush the manuscript to you immediately.

Very Truly Yours

(Fill in your name)

          “ What do you think? This might work. It may at least rack up a better response performance than Edgar Allen Poe, Joseph Heller, William Golding, Stephenie Meyer, Kurt Vonnegut and JK Rowling's letters managed. They were all ignored, slighted and rejected, a bunch of times, and not always politely either.

“I don't know. It's not too honest is it?”

“Of course it's honest. In the letter I only used actual blurbs from respected writers and reviewers found on the dust jackets of best-selling novels. If nothing else my letter will stir an agent's primeval olfactory epithelium for a creative load of dreck capable of causing a stampede of bad taste when waved in the winds of popular culture. I've used their own lingo, kind of like a duck call.”

“I don't know about this…”

“I look forward to (as they say) many happy returns. I mean, something has to work, doesn't it? My fallback plan will be to add a zombie, vampire, witch and sadomasochistic religious extremist to the story. This may take a rather extensive rewrite however and I'm not sure I want to embark on that journey. I mean really, I've already made the head of the black ops team a sexually frustrated woman with a lust for herd animals. I mean, what more can I do?