Are you in this situation?
You’ve queried agents about your manuscript and received glowing reviews that talk about how great the writing is or how you’re a talented writer, but nobody wants THIS book. The voice is great and the story is interesting, but there are too many fairy-eating unicorn books out there. As much as the agent enjoyed your book, she doesn’t think she can sell it in this market. Understandable. Agents want to make money just like we do.
Does that mean the market is right? That readers don’t want one more fairy-eating unicorn book? Maybe. Maybe not. Should you delete your manuscript or toss your only copy in the garage? NO! Don’t do that. You can either self-publish the book or wait for the market to turn. It’s cyclical and will eventually want more fairy-eating unicorn books. Or maybe your next book will hook an agent and a publisher and one or both of them will suddenly be interested in your last book. You never know. Keep it around just in case.
But what have all the rejections, even the positive ones, done to your self-esteem? Are you able to move past what they’ve said and work on the next book (preferable one that isn’t related to the one that was just rejected)? You have to. Don’t submerge yourself in self-doubt. That won’t get you anywhere.
The only way to get traditionally published is to keep writing. If this story didn’t work, maybe the next one will blow their minds.
Don’t give up.
You can do this.
Or, if you don’t want to wait to hook a traditional publisher, look into self-publishing and see if that would be a better path for you. Everyone’s path is different.
You just have to figure out what’s yours.
Editing availability update: My next substantive/developmental editing slot is July 28. If you’re interested in this slot, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.