7/18/07

Rejected Again

LDSPub,

Let's say you request a full. The author sends it to you and for whatever reason you reject it. How often (on a requested ms.) do you do a form rejection as opposed to stating the reasons for rejecting?

If you sent a standard form and an author asked for more information so they could improve on their next manuscript they sent you, would you respond?

Jeff Savage
(But then again. Who is Jeff really?)

It really depends on what else I've got on my plate at the time. Publishing is more than just a vehicle for putting food on my table. I am emotionally invested in helping authors succeed. (Why else would I do this blog, relatively faithfully, and for FREE?)

If it's a great read, but not a good fit for me, I almost always say so. I try to put one or two personable sentence on the usual form letter to encourage the author to keep trying.

If it needs work and I've got the time and I can capture the problem in a sentence or two AND if it's not LDSBA time or Christmas rush, I try to let them know

But if it really needs a lot of work, I assume that a few quick pointers wouldn't help because if the author knew what I was talking about they would have done it already. And it's not my job to teach an author how to write.

Sometimes when I've rejected someone and they're particularly rude about it, I'll just send form letters to everyone for awhile. Until the sting goes away.

3 comments:

Jeff Savage said...

"Sometimes when I've rejected someone and they're particularly rude about it, I'll just send form letters to everyone for awhile. Until the sting goes away."

For some reason the idea of an angry and vengeful editor made me laugh my head off. Next time I get a form rejection, I'll tell myself, "It's just because someone was rude to her/him"

Kind of like hearing a bell in "It's a Wonderful Life." Every time you get a form rejection it means someone was rude to an editor.

Thanks for all the great advice. I think you are really helping alot of people.

Stephanie said...

I love the idea of the wonderful life connection. Made me laugh :)

Anonymous said...

LDSP --

I love where you say "It's not my job to teach an author how to write." I've been really amazed how many authors honestly believe that their publisher will take care of all the editing and plot holes and bad dialogue, and all they have to do is turn in the story. The story has to be as close to publication-ready as humanly possible before it's submitted -- and if that means delaying the submission for a while, so be it.

I've been really chagrined to go back and read stuff I thought was ready two years ago to find it completely rife with mistakes. Thank goodness I've learned better since then, but it's pretty pathetic that I thought they were ready. Poor, poor Beulah.

Beulah