Even after you've done all that you are supposed to do to make your manuscript marketable, you'll be rejected.
It's not your writing. It's your story.
Publishers want to buy manuscripts for things that they believe will sell. Which is why avid readers start to think that they are reading the same thing over and over, as publishers pick up the same story over and over because that's their business model.
When it comes to fiction, they can be right as much as they are wrong. Considering the decline in book sales, they've been mostly wrong of late.
But sometimes, the big publishing houses get it right.
In the case of Rielle Hunter's tell-all memoir, the majors didn't want anything to do with it. They didn't think it would sell.
And they were spot on.
There are a lot of women in publishing, and all those ladies recognized the animosity that the average female book purchaser would feel towards a woman who carried on an affair with a married man whose wife was dying of cancer.
Of course Ms. Hunter justified her reasons in her book, but her lame excuses weren't going to win readers to her side. The proof lies in the sale of 8,000 copies sold to date. It's no blockbuster.
The critics largely panned it, citing the memoir as a string of excuses for conduct that is seen as morally reprehensible.
BenBella Books took a chance but they paid out a pittance of an advance. Even they didn't expect much return on a book with a limited market.
The brief book tour is done. The round of talk shows has been completed, and all those appearances did nothing to boost sales for a book that nobody much wanted to read. It's back to obscurity for Rielle Hunter, published author with a poor history of sales.
Of course, there's always the fiction market to be cracked. It's just a matter of finding the right plot and then getting the manuscript to a literary agent at the right time, who will then deliver it to an acquisition editor in need of that particular story at just that very time.....
Or maybe she should get herself an MFA.