There is a sensation of extreme triumph and exhilaration on new book day. I just received my contributor copies for "New Millennium Writings" 2008-2009 edition. Which got me thinking . . .
Ten Reasons Contributor Copies Are Better Than Rejection Slips:
10. You get free a book or five, instead of an invitation to pay for books from the journal who has just rejected you.
9. You may now shamelessly and mercilessly laud the merit of your exploits to family and friends with actual, tangible proof that yes, you are a writer!
8. Cover art. It is always interesting to see how your story is dressed. Is your story sassy, sophisticated, understated? Does it look out at you from a demure, but stately prestigious university journal cover?
7. Intel of the competition. The problem with rejection slips (and editors, don't get me wrong I know they are necessary) is the lack of real feedback. Were you in the top 5% of those who almost made it, or did you not even make it past the initial round of the slush pile? Contributors copies show you what other stories made it, where your work stacks up on its own.
6. Publisher pays to ship your free copies to you, while you pay for your own rejection slip stamp.
5. None of the sad, covers-over-the-head-while-eating-Ben-and-Jerry's hi-jinks that follows a rejection slip.
4. Assuming you get one of the lovelier, more positive rejection notes in which they ask for more work; you are going to need to send out, well, more work! Not with a contributor copy.
3. On the rare occasion a contributor copy will come with a note of encouragement, invitation to give a live reading, or possible radio appearance (hey, it could happen).
2. Contributor's copies make excellent gifts if you can part with them. Rejection slips make excellent birdcage lining.
1. The number one reason contributor's copies are better than rejection slips is because almost nothing can beat out the feeling of holding your work in your hand and knowing people you have never met could be reading your story right now.