So it happened yesterday, er, rather last Tuesday – I only received the email yesterday, as I was out with the plague all last week.
I came back to work yesterday, logged on to my email account, and found a new message in my inbox from one of the publishers I had sent my book proposal to. Considering I sent mailed the proposals out about two weeks ago, I was fairly certain that this was not good news.
Turns out, the email was from Chris Staros from Top Shelf Productions. Top Shelf wasn’t one of the publishers whose catalog I thought Punch-Up fit in with one hundred percent, but I’ve always respected and admired them and had to take the chance.
I can’t post Top Shelf’s rejection letter here – it strictly says at the top of the email NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR POSTING – but I can say this: It was my first ever rejection letter and, I gotta say, it was probably the nicest rejection letters I will ever receive.
First of all, it didn’t read like the standard strictly formal and impersonal rejection letters I expected to receive. I’m fairly certain that it was actually written specifically for me and didn’t just have my name and book title copy/pasted into a stock message. Staros mentioned that – while he didn’t think the book was right for their catalog – he did enjoy reading it and encouraged me to look into Xeric Grants, self-publishing, and making more “cool mini-comics out of the story” if I couldn’t find a publisher to pick up the book.
I wasn’t expecting my first rejection letter to be so pleasant and supportive. (Incidentally, the letter is now framed and hanging on my wall.)
After I got out of work last night, I headed over to the grocery store and bought myself a bottle of champagne. It’s sitting in the back of my refrigerator right now with a Post-It note on it that reads: For when Punch-Up is picked up by a publisher.
Hopefully, we’ll get to drink it soon.
Y’know, I should start making girls at the bar write rejection letters to me from now on instead of just the usual cliched slap in the face.