100 Rejections: An Update

by Kim on March 16, 2017 · 20 comments

Back in November I wrote a blog post declaring that I was going to rack up 100 rejections as soon as possible.

Why 100 rejections?

Well, as you may know, I have a book coming out in April. I’ve dedicated a good portion of the last two years of my life writing said book and now the only thing left to do is make sure that people actually know it exists.

I knew that if I strived (strove?) to receive 100 rejections I’d be forced to put myself out there in ways my homebody-prone, introverted self would usually avoid. I was also banking on the assumption that the likelihood of getting rejected 100 times in a row was probably pretty low and, therefore, in between all of those terrible rejections would be at least a few successes.

So, how’s Rejection Fest 2017 going so far?

Splendidly.

It’s been 4 months since I began running full speed down Rejection Road and I am here to tell you that, when it comes to getting rejected, I am wildly successful.

Below I shall share an incomplete list of the rejections I have collected in the past few months. (It’s important to note that I have a publicist assigned to me (her name is Liz and she is lovely) who also collects rejections on my behalf. This has enabled me to score more rejections than I ever dreamed possible.

Rejections

  • Over 50 travel bloggers, book bloggers, and podcast producers have rejected me. (Actually, this group of folks has mostly ignored me– but after awhile one must assume rejection).
  • I’ve been rejected by at least half a dozen freelance writing jobs and magazines I’ve pitched.
  • Rick Steves won’t write me back. Rick, I love you. I just want to talk!
  • While attempting to schedule book signings, some bookstores, including my all-time-favorite bookstore (I won’t name names but it’s in Portland and rhymes with “Jowls”) have said, “You’re not a good fit,” or, more directly, “We just don’t think you’ll draw the kind of crowd we require.”
  • A reviewer from a big, important publication described my book as, “A slog through Dinan’s internal dialogue.” That actually made me cry—in front of my entire writing class.
  • I wrote and submitted a second book proposal which was met with a, “We like it- but let’s wait and see how your first book does.” (NO PRESSURE) This is not a rejection, exactly, but I can’t quite put it in the ‘win’ column either.
  • Though I don’t have exact numbers, I have racked up rejections from TV stations, radio stations, libraries, magazines and websites.

I probably hit 100 rejections in the first month of trying. What can I say? I’m an overachiever.

Of course, it hasn’t all been rejections— I’ve had some successes, too. See, my evil plan worked after all. Waaa ha ha.

Successes

  • When I asked some of my favorite authors to blurb my book they said yes!
  • I have been invited to speak in bookstores and libraries across the country and even at an inspirational speaker series and a tourism board breakfast.
  • I have booked radio and podcast spots and even one TV morning show (panicking over this already).
  • I’ll be speaking at a number of schools in the next few months, not because my visits will result in book sales but because I am passionate about exposing kids to travel and demonstrating that seeing the world is within their reach.
  • Aside from the review mentioned above, nearly all other reviews have been positive.
  • Thanks to the readers of this blog, I have managed to scrape together a little DIY book tour. Many of you have offered to let me sleep in your guest bedroom or on your couch, lobbied your local bookstores, or invited me to hang out with your book clubs. I’ve got over a dozen stops lined up already (click here for a full list) and will hopefully add more in the future. (BTW, you are all amazing- thank you so much!)
  • My publisher set a goal of 500 pre-orders of my book. I haven’t quite reached that goal yet, so I suppose I could put this in the rejection column, but so many of you have pre-ordered that it feels like a win. (Public service announcement: There is still time to pre-order from your local bookstore, Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Fill out this form to receive some free travel goodies as a thank-you for pre-ordering).
  • While this aspect of my writing life isn’t quite where I want it to be yet, I have secured a few more regular freelance clients and I can feel myself gathering momentum.

Not bad, eh?

I’ll be honest—getting rejected stings every single time. I don’t think there’s a person on this planet that enjoys being told no. And yet, even some of my rejections have led to opportunities. A potential freelance client chose someone else to write monthly features for their magazine but has a travel guide project for me this fall. Two different bookstores in two different cities initially declined to host me but local readers lobbied so hard that they changed their minds.

I’m going to keep collecting these rejections with pride. For every two “no-thank-you’s” there’s inevitably one “yeah, let’s do it” and those odds are good enough for me. No matter what happens, I’ll never have to look back at this time in my life and say I didn’t try.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrée F. March 17, 2017 at 7:28 am

Hi Kim,

Most people try to hide their rejections and only show what looks great in their lives. Thank you to tell the truth, this is much more valuable to me. You inspired me in the past years and continue to do so. I can’t wait to read your book!

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Andrée F. March 17, 2017 at 7:31 am

Oh! and by the way…I know you probably won’t come to Québec City as most people speak french but if you do so, I will be happy to provide you (and your family) a comfortable place to stay.

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Kim March 17, 2017 at 11:05 am

Thank you Andree. I appreciate that and I’ll let you know when/if we make it up to Quebec City!

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Laura March 17, 2017 at 11:50 am

A good, fun read and I like your attitude. I applaud you for your honesty and tenacity.
Laura recently posted..Plitvice Lakes National Park and February Don’t Go Together: Croatia

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Kim March 18, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Thanks Laura. I do have this feeling that the people that “make it” (whatever that means) are mostly just those that keep going- so that’s what I’m going to do!

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Patti March 17, 2017 at 2:47 pm

Do you know how many writers “never” secure a publisher?! You are so far ahead of the game and your determination is paying off big time, look at the list of your events. Holy Moly girl, that is impressive. Never let it be said that Kim Dinan does not persevere!

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Kim March 18, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Lol, thanks Patti. I’m really looking forward to hitting the road again!

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RenegadePilgrim March 18, 2017 at 11:21 am

I feel like we need to make an assault on http://www.powells.com in Portland to tell them there is a demand for a reading (even if it’s at the Hawthorne store! c’mon, even Nomadic Matt has done readings there!).

Kim, let me see if we can arrange a reading at my office while you are in Portland. I think your story really jives with my company’s ethos and values, and would love to see if we could host you.

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Kim March 18, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Thank you Heather!!! I guess I’ll just have to get into Powells with my *next* book 😉 I look forward to seeing you at Broadway Books!!

Likewise, I would love to so an event at your office if that’s something you’re up for. Send me an email (kim.somanyplaces@gmail.com) and I can let you know which dates I’ll be in PDX.

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Rebecca Thering March 19, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Kim, you are a rock star! Thank you, thank you for sharing your rejections and successes—someone’s been hard at work! 🙂

This is all incredibly inspiring and motivating. I must start taking leaps!

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Kim March 27, 2017 at 4:33 pm

I hoped that sharing my story of rejections (and successes) would be helpful. All of these rejections have made me more willing to leap, too. What’s the worst that anyone can say? No? I’ve heard that 100 times! 🙂

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Adonis Villanueva March 20, 2017 at 6:53 pm

Great attitude! Rejection sucks but also drives you to do better next time. I know cause, I get rejected a lot 😉

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Kim March 27, 2017 at 4:33 pm

You and me both, Adonis.

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Rica March 21, 2017 at 9:47 pm

Over 50 travel bloggers…have rejected me – Hmm, aren’t we supposed to help each other out in this department?

All the best, Kim!
Rica recently posted..Looking Back Photo Series: Greens and Blues (Philippines)

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Kim March 27, 2017 at 4:33 pm

Right? Rejected by my own people!! (It happens).

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Claire March 24, 2017 at 2:15 pm

THANK YOU for sharing this! I’m at a place in my career that involves a lot of pitching, applying, and essentially advertising my myself for potential work…and the inevitable rejections that come with that. This was such a great reminder of what it’s all for. Congrats on your book!

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Kim March 27, 2017 at 4:34 pm

I’m right there with you Claire. It’s fun to have irons in the fire though– even if some (but not all!) end up in rejection.

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Elesha March 25, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Good on you Kim. Thanks for sharing the good the bad and the ugly. So much more inspiring to hear this than a glossed up version.

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Kim March 27, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Thanks Elesha. The glossed up version really doesn’t help anyone– this is the *true* story, warts and all 🙂

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