Author Resources

Dealing with Rejection – Part 3

Dealing with rejection

And here we are at the conclusion of our three-part series on dealing with rejection. It’s been a fun ride, and I hope you’ve found some of the advice useful. Be sure to swing by and check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Today we’re going to talk with author Enabled on how he pulls himself up after the sting of rejection.

How to Make Rejection Positive


I’ve been an author on the Marketplaces for about 4 years now. I’m not a top author, I’m a small one, mainly because I freelance, but lately I’ve seen lots of topics about getting rejected. I would like to tell you that we all get rejected and it’s what you do with that rejection that counts. No hard feelings!

I, like you, have been rejected countless time before being approved. On ActiveDen I got 13 rejections on a single file. Instead of opening a thread or pointing out a reviewer and getting angry on the forums. I kept reminding myself that the reviewer is human being that has a job to do just like you or I. I did get angry of course, but I polished, tried again, got rejected again, polished, got rejected again, polished, and voila. I got approved. I believe only one of my files has ever been approved on the first shot. The same goes for my ThemeForest files, I even scrubbed a few. Believe me, as a fresh starter, after working 1 month on one file having “lost” all that time, I was mad as hell, but I realized I had no reason to be! It’s experience; it’s a learning step forward. I learned that I was not ready and I needed to improve. Heck, I’m not afraid or embarrassed to say it! I kept those files and when I see them now, my first thought is “How the hell did I even think about uploading this?! The reviewers must have laughed really hard when they saw it!”. But that is life! Nothing worth doing that makes money is easy! (I’m speaking in legally of course).

What rejection reasons have I received?

All of them! Every possible rejection reason you can think of. Typography, design, uniqueness, bad graphics, bad code! BAD ! BAD ENABLED , BAD BOY ! NO GOOD ! This is why I really want to share my experience with you. Imake an effort to never take rejection in a bad way. The simple reason is, I think of a rejection as the reviewer’s way of saying ‘good job! You got it here, but it’s time to improve, and then try again! You will understand later!’ Yes I do get angry sometimes,especially when I don’t understand why I have been rejected. To help out I came up with a quote, which I say it every time I see the “We are sorry but …” message when I get a rejection… it goes like this! “Every rejection is a new chance to achieve perfection!” Of course I am mad each time I get rejected, mad, angry, sad, disappointed. It was my “baby” that got refused, my time spent. But let’s take a look at it from a different perspective. Okay, let’s imagine my file is approved. It has crap typography, elements, design, padding, a lot of issues, but, the reviewer approves my file. Can you guess what will happen?

  1. I, having done such a noobish job, get only a few sales at a very low price.
  2. I have no idea how to help my customers. Paddings don’t match? huh? What’s that?
  3. I will get a 1 star rating, and buyers will avoid me.
  4. My crappy file will take down the quality of the marketplaces.

This is not what I want. As in the end it will hurt me, hurt you, hurt everyone. Buyers will avoid the marketplaces knowing crappy files are around, and sales will rocket in the other direction… down… down… down! So, after thinking about the above, when I get rejected, the first thought that goes through my mind is “Thank you Reviewer for sparing me the one star rating, the embarrassment, and the chance to ruin my own portfolio!”

They have something against me, (insert reason)!

By looking on the front page of marketplaces I see 99.9% of the files approved making sales! In my opinion that says that reviewers are doing a great job! Someone mentioned that they reject plutonium badge authors with no regards of the badge whatsoever. I can guarantee that even plutonium authors have had items rejected.

But reviewers don’t respect my hard work!

Yes they do! Reviewers are impartial, they reject your files regardless of who you are, who you know, how many hours you’ve worked, or what you need to buy with the money of the file. They simply want you, to put the best you can in your item! If you cannot at this/that time, then they will reject you, and therefore motivate you! How many of you can say that they were not motivated at all by a rejection? Put things into a different perspective, each time you get rejected, if you get a small “WHY ?!” question screaming in your head. That’s the part of you that wants the file uploaded, approved, and selling! Well, in order to do that, work a little harder. Don’t rush things; doing things fast always ends up with you overlooking critical details. Always give the best of the best. And try not to take out your frustration on the reviewer. The simplest way to see that reviewers care about your work and respect you work is the fact that Envato has the ability to hold your files. So that a second reviewer can come in, see the file, give his opinion, and make sure you get remunerated properly for your work.

It’s not fair! I see old files that are uglier than mine!

I see them too. But you must understand the following concept. You said it right. Old files. Templates are a quality-based industry, like cars. Lada still sells and it’s 34 years old. The Bugatti Veyron just came out and it sells like hot cakes. But people still buy the Lada, why ( I am not taking into account financial reasons)? Because we each have individual tastes! And at the end of the day, there is a small section in the Envato Wiki about being an author that mentions that files are regularly checked for quality and removed if they do not fit a certain level. That happens folks. Keep your eyes wide open!

Why don’t they just tell me “The file is bad, don’t upload again”

Everyone deserves a chance. And if you work on your file and make it better it may get accepted. Some versions of my files when I first uploaded them really looked bad. A lot of research, development, learning, stress, work, polishing, and it eventually got accepted.

But my code/back-end/framework/ is super awesome!

I fully agree, maybe you have some awesome code behind a not so awesome design. This is again, easily comparable to cars. Would you buy a rusty, ugly old car, which has a Ferrari engine at the price of a Ferrari? Or, the other way around, would you buy a Ferrari with an engine that’s from a 50 year old car, all faulty and buggy?

You don’t understand! My item is super duper awesome! The reviewer is blind!

I understand. It is your creation, and you have feelings for it as you put a lot of effort into building it. I’ve been on that road and will probably be on that road again. That’s why the Item Discussion forum truly exists. To provide you with constructive criticism! The true purpose of that topic is the latter. I get upset, when I see a topic that rants and rants about the reviewer and the file posted talks for itself. Before asking for feedback, do what the message tells you, go through your item with a fine toothcomb, and see what can be improved. Then, go to the forums and show off your 2 versions. The one that was rejected, and the one you have now. You will get a lot of good, constructive feedback! Instead of just blaming it on the reviewer, wasting a day, posting, waiting for replies, and in the end, getting nothing out of it, what about trying harder?

But freelancing has nothing to do with this! I don’t care about quality.

I will not argue about this, but I will say that some tricks I’ve learned here have made some of my customers recurrent, happy, and given me a fat bonus for the increased quality! In the end, I will just like to say thank you reviewers! You have taught me so many things about quality, typography, padding, code cleanliness, design… but most of all you’ve taught me something I now apply in real life along withpatience and perseverance. So instead of getting angry when you get rejected, use it as a chance to achieve perfection and get that file accepted!

Thanks Enabled!