Been a while since I talked about the specific types of rejections a writer might receive, but here’s one that falls into kind of a unique category: the reprint rejection. It’s unique because it’s a story you know at least one editor/publisher liked enough to publish, so you might have more confidence when you send it out. Past success, however, does not guarantee future success, and the reprint rejection is yet another reminder of this writerly reality.
Here are some examples of reprint rejection from my own collection.
Thank you for submitting [story] to [market]. It’s an interesting story, but it didn’t quite come together for us and we’ve decided to pass on it.
We appreciate your interest in our [market]; thanks again for giving us the chance to look at your story.
So, as you can see, reprint rejections, are, well, just rejections that don’t call any special attention to the fact the submission was a reprint. (I can think of one publisher that does, but they’re the outlier.) What can that tell us as writers, though? Primarily, I think it reinforces a couple of unwavering truths about submissions and publishing.
But the big questions is are reprints harder or easier to sell? I’ve covered this topic before, but, in my experience, I think they are slightly easier to sell. A quick look at Duotrope says I’ve sent 44 reprint submissions. Out of those submissions, I received 11 acceptances. That’s a 25% acceptance rate, which is higher than my standard acceptance rate, which is somewhere between 15% and 20%.
Thoughts on the reprint rejection? What’s your experience with them? Tell me about it in the comments.