Beta Readers can either dash your hopes or lift your spirits beyond belief. Mine did the last. I asked for written critiques and loved those that I got. Certain I was ready for the next step, I headed to San Diego to the SDSU Writer’s Conference. Agents met with hopeful writers. Agents, publishers, and editors taught classes in writing, pitching, finding an agent, and self-publishing. I finally got the opportunity to “pitch” my book to one agent who agreed to allow me to send her the first 50 pages. Perhaps the most fun was the late night read we had. After sessions were over, a stalwart group of writers met and read excerpts from their manuscripts aloud and then received criticism from the group. My feedback was great and I felt that this was my time to get the book published. I knew it would happen. Through the next couple of days, I spoke with several agents and received permission to submit chapters to them. I went home excited and ready to have my book on the shelves within a year or two at the most.
Then I received my first rejection letter. And they kept coming. They were all very sweet and encouraging, so I kept submitting. So… they kept coming. Somehow, that does something to a writer’s confidence. Other writers told me those were good rejection letters. I thought that was quite an oxymoron. Good and rejection do not belong in the same sentence. Instead, I turned my attention to other things while family and friends kept telling me I needed to keep trying to get it published.
The glow of my first public reading was eclipsed by the cold harsh reality of the lifeblood of the publishing world – rejection slips.