What if you send something in, and it doesn’t get accepted for publication?
I get that question a lot, whether it be for RAD Writing or for Mavguard. The majority of writers have a fear of rejection, for one reason or another, and it makes it incredibly difficult for some of us to even consider sending our work to any publisher. It also means we’re more likely to self-publish, because we don’t really want to get an editor’s opinion on our work.
There’s a problem with that.
Actually, there are several.
I’ll mention three. And I'm going to tell it to you straight, because I think you can take it, and because sometimes we artists need someone to tell it to us straight, if we're going to get it into our heads.
1. You’re letting the system get the better of you
It always makes me sad, to hear the vast number of authors who’ve quit sending their work out because they’re afraid of getting another rejection, or because they’re afraid of what will happen if they do get published. Some of the rights to your work get taken away from you, after all. That can be a scary thing to wrestle with.
But by letting your fear get the better of you, you’re preventing your work from really seeing the light of day.
The system is designed the way it is for a reason. If you never let anyone but your friends read your work, you’ll never get any real feedback on it – and no one but your friends will ever know when you’ve published it. The system is designed to get the best works possible out to the public, which is something that gets lost in the self-publishing system. Trust me. I did it. I've been there.
I know it’s rough to get rejection letters. I know it’s hard to send your work out there. But it’s worth it. Even if you end up with a stack of rejection letters. You’ll have learned something out of the process, and hopefully you’ll better your work because of it.
2. You can’t catch your own problems
You just can’t. I am living evidence of this. Go read Telekinetic. Actually, no, please don’t. I didn’t have an editor. That’s the sole reason why I always make sure to send my work to an editor now. There are so many obvious errors in Telekinetic that it drives me crazy to even think of them. I've gotten so much better in my writing that I have a hard time even thinking about that book.
See, we know what our work is supposed to read like, and our brains automatically compensate for the difference. So when there’s an error (not if—there’re always errors), we’re highly unlikely to catch it.
By going around the system and publishing your work yourself, without the help of an editor, you’re preventing your work from being the best that it can be. You’re settling for less, and that’s not what any of us want to have on the shelves.
Trust me, I know.
Sidenote: I did technically have an editor for Telekinetic, but English was their second language. That defeats the purpose, too. Trust me. Again.
3. You’ve decided to settle, and your work may suffer
In my opinion, deciding to self-publish is the same as deciding to settle. It’s telling yourself that you can’t get published by a big house, so you may as well just do it yourself. At least, that's what it was for me, and I know several other authors for whom the same is true.
Here’s the thing.
Most of the time, self-publishing requires you to pour some money into it. A lot of us don’t have the funds for that. It also requires that we do our own editing, or pay someone a massive amount to edit our manuscripts. And it also requires us to do all our own publicity, all our own marketing, and for the majority of us, that means our work will never really get out there.
But you know what?
Small publishers exist for this very reason.
Big houses only want to publish big names, it seems, and that’s just not right. But there are thousands upon thousands of small publishing houses that specialize in publishing newer people, people who don’t have as much experience in this business.
RAD Writing is one of those.
And you know what else?
We don’t make you pay a penny to be published. In fact, we’ll pay you for the rights to your manuscript. And we’ll edit your work, free of charge, because we’re going to publish it.
What’s so scary about that?
Head over to our submissions page and send your work in now. I’m ready and willing to read.