Having received an absolutely-expected rejection letter from Baen has brought mixed feelings.
Tossing a work into the slush pile of one of the major publishers is – given the number of submissions they receive and the amount of time they have to consider each work – an utter lottery. Art is subjective, even pulpy art, and good work can simply miss the right set of eyes.
That said, I got a nice little personal note (beyond the standard form letter copy/paste) indicating there was genuine interest. It may not have made the final cut, but someone over at Baen flagged my first attempt at a novel as a real possibility for publication, and, as we stagger out of 2016, that’s enough to feel like a minor victory.