Friday, May 14, 2010

About Rejections (Part 8 of 9)

"Badly written manuscripts don’t sell." I said that once at a writers’ conference. Someone pointed out a popular-but-dreadfully written book. In that case, I agreed, but the truth is, an editor liked the writing. That doesn’t excuse anyone for sending in less than the best.

Most agents accept less than 1 percent of submissions. Editors tell me that they toss back at least ninety manuscripts for every one they buy.

Just sending to more publishers isn’t the answer. Even if fifty-three editors see the same badly written piece, the answer will be the same. Instead, if you have sent out a piece at least a dozen times and everyone rejects it, assume that you need to re-work the material before you send it again. At least get a professional to evaluate it.

Today we also have to admit that some people are published because they can sell. If they would put a fourth of the effort into writing that they do into selling, they could develop into excellent writers. They use their sales figures as proof that they're good writers.

Some poor writers sell many books. That doesn't make them good writers. It means they are inferior writers who know how to sell inferior books.

1 comment:

  1. I love this series on Rejections! I got one this week. I get a lot of personal rejections and although I know that's good, they are still rejections. This past one was one that was very emotional to me. The staff person told me that it had been read and re-read, that the staff had been deeply moved, but that it didn't meet their need at this time, but - Please send us more! At the end of the day, it still didn't sell and a rejection is a rejection.

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