Submitting your work to other companies, potential customers and publishers can be confusing and scary. Unless you didn’t have to feel as accountable for rejection as the feeling leads on. Let me explain!
When undergoing an online submission, I research the entire company, their guidelines, social media accounts, as well as try to sound personal…. but not too personal. I want them to know I’m not a bot, but I also don’t want to overdo it. However, no matter how hard I try, I know that I cannot control the outcome.
The thing is, everyone has a different take on how submissions should go down. I’ve seriously witnessed some heated twitter fights about this one subject. There is a lot content out there with titles like, "Top 10 Things Art Directors are Looking For", or, "How to Get Noticed by a Publisher". This blog post is not about getting noticed, it's about how to cope with not getting noticed.
My verdict is … (dramatic pause), it’s all really random and sometimes your hard work comes down to timing.
I’ve tried just about everything in the books and I can honestly say the ones who have replied to my submissions or choose to work with me, was definitely a result of being in the right place at the right time. Of course, I had to work hard to be in the right place at the right time, but once I hit send for my submission, my fate is in someone else's hands.
My thing was their thing, my phrasing, work, approach, demeanor, social media vibes and humour, resonated with them. I can prepare for success, but I can never foresee the outcome.
Realizing how much is in your control and how much isn’t will help you carry on. My rejections don’t sting like they used to because I know a lot of it comes down to luck and timing. I learn what I can from it and take "no" way less personally.
These things are unpredictable and you can never truly know what someone is looking for until you get out there and try to show them. Sometimes they don’t know what they are looking for until they see it. The more you take that risk, the more likely you are of it paying off. Don’t let any twitter hooligan tell you there is just one way to do it. There are infinite ways and infinite possibilities.
Send those promos my friends, brave the rejection and send your authentic selves into the world with confidence that you’ve done all that you can do. Confidence in knowing that no matter how many people ghost you, or send you a letter of rejection, someone on the big wide web vibes with your work, you’ve just got to find each other.
So … what do you do when your mailbox is filled with rejection?
You keep going,
you find another road,
you pave your own road.
Most importantly, you realize that their rejection is not an evaluation on your worth and abilities.