Author Resources

Dealing with Rejection – Part 1

Dealing with rejection

Although it happened to all of us, no one really likes it when one of their files gets rejected on the Marketplaces. Whether it’s a hard or soft rejection, you feel a bit like Charlie Brown when the football always got yanked out by Lucy right before he tried to kick it. In this series of articles we’re going to look at how we can dust ourselves off and get back in the game when we face rejection.

I wrote a bit about dealing with rejection in my article Introduction to the Envato Marketplace, but this time around we thought we should go to some of our authors to ask them how they face rejection. You may be surprised that even long-time, successful authors don’t get all of their files approved.



Quickandeasy is one of our top flyer designers who puts together a heap of great work for GraphicRiver. Here’s what he has to say about rejection:

If you’re rejected because of quality issues, the first thing you need to do, is accept that your item simply isn’t as awesome as you think it is.

Either take on board everything the reviewer says, or put it into an ‘unfinished items’ folder and come back to it in a few weeks – by then, you’ll have fresh eyes and it’ll be far easier to see the problems with your file.

Several people regularly say things to me on Skype like “How can he even reject this, he’s not got any items like this in his portfolio” or like today someone said “I think the reviewer has made a mistake, this file is much better… lalalalala”


Secondly, regardless of your rejection, it’s important to understand that reviewers weren’t hired because of their dashing good looks. All are fully qualified for their positions and more than capable of the job in hand – So whatever the reviewer’s reason for rejecting your file should be taken on board as advice from a professional who’s in a position to judge your work.

I was hired for my dashing good looks, but I’m not a reviewer, so I guess that’s OK.



dtbaker is an Elite author with high-quality work on ThemeForest and CodeCanyon. Here’s what he had to say:

Even the best authors here get rejected many many times. Sometimes an item just won’t ever make it on the marketplace, other times it can be improved. Your best plan is to have two (or more!) projects going at the same time, just incase one doesn’t make it through the approval process. I have an approved and rejected folder, I use the good parts from the rejected folder to make even better items that eventually end up in the approved folder. When I look back at my rejected items and see what the improved version looks like I can certainly see the difference. That nasty rejection email was that last push I needed to put in the extra effort, which resulted in a great item.



Sevenspark is another Elite author who, while he may not have a huge portfolio, his files sell like hotcakes. Here’s some of his advice:

Take a rejection as an opportunity and a challenge. Many times, iteration is the key to success. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch. As a new author, you learn SO MUCH during the process of creating your first premium-quality WordPress theme. It takes a while to internalize everything, and the parts you coded on day 1 won’t be nearly as good as what you coded on day 40. Rather than trying to fix everything in your code, it can be very liberating to just start from scratch and apply your newly gained knowledge to a fresh canvas. While it may seem daunting, you’d be surprised how quickly you can build a way better version of your product, now that you can see the whole picture. Leverage that perspective.

Also, “Do a huge volume of work”. AKA practice, practice, practice. “It’s going to take a while… and you have to fight your way through that” – Ira Glass

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

Join us in Part 2 where we’ll talk to our Review Manager Jarel for some great advice on the role of reviewers and how authors can become successful.