I submitted a manuscript to a publisher on Sunday.
I got my rejection on Monday. It was polite and said it’s not what their looking for at the moment. Fair enough. Their other novels are similar but mine didn’t make the cut.
For those who’ve never done this, it usually takes months before you hear back from a publisher. I forwarded the instant response to a writer friend of mine who gave me a reason that made sense, although it took me a few days to realise her analysis may be right.
I initially thought it was because I don’t live in North America.
This publisher has a focus on promotion, as other authors I know released through them are encouraged to constantly be on social media. Or at least respond on socials in a timely manner.
There’s a major time difference between the US and Australia, so I thought that may be the problem.
But I did something foolish with the summary I submitted.
Again, for those who’ve never done this, you must submit a summary that includes the main thread of the story, including the ending.
I had one from a previous submission and deleted the detailed ending. I thought, as they are going to read the manuscript anyway, they’ll have a nice surprise at the way it finishes up.
I can already hear experienced authors groan.
After my friend read both my submission and the rejection, she said ‘perhaps your ending that isn’t happy enough for an American publisher.’
My shortened summary made my story sound like it had an unexpected horror ending to a tale that obviously isn’t horror. Yes, really stupid of me. The novel itself has a hopeful ending.
Now, I can’t be sure this is why I was quickly rejected, but from now on, I’ll make sure my summarised plot tells the whole story.