But all in all a good day. Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain rejected my YA fantasy with a very kind, personal note in which the editor said that they, personally, really enjoyed the book. This rejection came after only a month, when the previous manuscript they looked at took a year (quite typical in the publishing industry if you have no agent). I sent an email back to see if anything else I have in my trunk might be a good match for them, and we'll see.
I also got another personalized rejection from an agent for my contemporary romance/women's fiction. To be honest, I was a little surprised to get any response as it was an email query and I suspect most of those will not net replies. Agents receive 300 or more queries a week, and one way to get through those while also representing their clients is to not bother with responses. But I did get a response and it was typed by the agent herself. Now, one agent I spoke to warned me that she doesn't know of any editors looking for this kind of project, so I am expecting a slew of rejections here. Having said that, I have received only one form rejection and two personalized ones so far. That is very, very positive.
It's interesting when I show people my submissions/rejection list. Quite a few non-writers get indignant and think that the industry is "not fair". Well, the problem is, it's brutally fair. Agents need to sell books to make a living, and editors need to buy books that they can sell at a profit. The average book sells 3,300 copies. People are working on very narrow margins and can't afford to be charitable, even if they love a book.
So rather than be shocked at how hard this is, may I encourage you to head to your local bookstore and buy some books?