One of the hardest things for me do to is reject my own authors. Authors I have contracted and worked with and have fallen in love with their voices and stories. But the sad truth of it is, you can’t slam one out of the park every time. It just doesn’t happen. To anyone.
There aren’t always a lot of reasons for the rejection, either. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s the truth. Sometimes it’s as simple as “I didn’t love it enough”, or “I just didn’t connect with it enough”. How do you explain that to someone? How do you give them feedback on that? You really can’t. Unless I fall in love with a story, I won’t contract it. I’m not going to fall in love with every story I read, no matter who it’s by.
The majority of times I reject something submitted to me by an author I’ve worked with, it’s because I just didn’t LOVE it…but I can’t tell you why. Most of the time I can’t put my finger on why I don’t love it. There’s just something missing from it for me. As with all other editors, we’re only allowed a certain amount of slots a year/per month, which means those slots are very very precious to me. I can’t fill them with things I don’t absolutely fall head over heels in love with.
When your editor rejects you, it’s not personal. Please remember that. It’s one of those crappy parts of our job we hate. And trust me, we all anguish over it.