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How Not To Reply To A Rejection Letter

We here at LLBR unfortunately have to send out rejection letters each month for books our review team pass on.  It’s not an easy thing to do.  If all four of us had the time and were being paid for our efforts, I’m sure there would be less rejections sent.  While we do pass on reviewing books from time to time due to bad formatting or too many spelling and grammatical errors, the majority of our rejections come down to a book just not being something any of us is interested in reading.  Face it, you don’t pick up and read every book in the bookstore you see, do you?

Authors should know that 99% of the business is rejection.  Just ask any literary agent how many emails are in their in-box, and how many blanket rejection letters they send each day with no explanation besides “not interested.”  As an author, it’s best just to take the rejection for what it’s worth and move on.  And certainly don’t give up! Authors should also remember that reviews are opinions and readers are certainly entitled to them.  It has always been our policy here at LLBR that if we were to rate a book anything less than 3 out of 5 stars, we would not post a review of it because bad reviews do NOT help self-published authors.

From time to time, many Lulu authors who we reject feel the need to reply to us.  The replies are often understanding or may ask for tips on how to improve their work.  If we have time, one of us will reply to their requests.  Lots of times we get a reply telling us that it’s “our loss” and it just might be.  What follows is a detailed reply to one of our rejections which I feel is a perfect example of how NOT to reply to a rejection if you want to be taken seriously as a writer (names and titles have been removed, of course, but misspellings and grammatical errors have been left intact). One can only wonder what would have happened had this author sent this letter to a traditional publishing house or literary agent seeking representation…

Please forgive me, but what am I supposed to make of that kind of ridiculous reaction? How can you even pass on such a childish, uninformed and irresponsible comment from one of your Reviewers?

You must understand how hard it is for an author to comprehend the logic behind what on the surface comes across as a childish reaction. No insult intended, but from that reasoning, what can I possible respect about your service and the infantile attitude of that would-be reviewer?

Questions arise from the inane comments you shared with me: Is this person an adult? Are they serious about providing intelligent and reflective objective reviews? Do they ONLY ready happy, silly little stories? It is obvious from what you wrote to me that this is not a responsible attitude nor is the Lulu Book Review in any way a “serious” operation.

What a remarkable disappointment, not that I really care that your reviewer didn’t review it, but because of the ridiculous reasoning she provided. I can honestly say that I am actually relieved that such a frivolous person did NOT try to comprehend my book. It is obvious she read only a tiny portion of the story and completely missed the entire point of the book, which other more serious reviewers have described as a “very hopeful story of faith, perseverance and love.” Your reviewer obviously missed the big picture, and I’m insulted by such an irresponsible attitude. It is insulting to me.

Would this same reviewer have refused to review War and Peace or Schindler’s List, because they were “a bit sad and depressing”? Obviously, you are not a respectable organization, or else you wouldn’t have people like that working on reviews. It should also tell you something that the reviews I have been receiving are all far more perceptive and intelligent than you may realize. You can be sure that I’ll save this little quote: “our reviewer found ________ to be a bit sad and depressing” and will share the laughable attitude with many friends, colleagues and fellow authors, so that they get a clear understanding of how unprofessional Lulu Book Review actually is. What a shame and an embarassment, that you would even pass along such a ridiculous comment. But, I can only surmise that you did so because you share that type of arrogance.

Good luck in the future. I will not allow your organization to come anywhere near my next book, due out later this year.

One Response to “How Not To Reply To A Rejection Letter”

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