Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weekly update #3

New words: 2,067 (last week0+ 1079 (so far this week)
Rejections: 2, both personal

I'm fighting a cold, so I probably won't be particularly eloquent (though perhaps a teensy bit bitter) today. Sorry.

A word or two on rejections. There is a hierarchy of rejections. At the bottom, there's the slip of paper that says something generic about how the magazine/publisher didn't want/need your work (or waste a whole 4 cents on a full sheet of paper on you). Some Ed. Assistants soften the blow by writing "Thanks!" in loopy letters and signing them with purple pen.

Next up is a rejection printed on letterhead with your name and address and the title of your work included in the text. Somebody had to put those things there (though I suspect that there are computer programs that may do this). Bonus if someone signed a name in blue pen (not purple). At least you warranted five minutes of someone's time to fill in a form letter. And it's on a full sheet of paper.

Finally, as rejections go, the two I got this week were wonderful. Both of them were on the aforementioned full sheets of paper with my name spelled correctly, etc. The bonus is that each of them gave a brief critique of the work by way of explaining why they passed on it! One actually complimented my "voice" and hinted that another publisher might very well be interested (though she didn't mention any names...damn). The other suggested that I was hunting in the wrong genre (she didn't really like anything but the concept of the book). Still, good advice.

This is truly useful information!

The thing about editors/agents/publishers is that "it only takes one." That is, it only takes one person to fall in love with the book and push it through the publishing process. The editor who complimented me on my voice is getting more of my work in the future because she likes the way I write, even if she didn't like that particular book.

For more on "It only takes one," read this post by Dean Wesley Smith (search the text for "It only takes one."). Yes, I posted a link to this post a week or two ago, but it's worth reposting.

So, those are my thoughts on rejections. I'll take any win I can get, especially on a day when I don't feel well.


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