I just got my fifth Publishing House rejection.
No big deal. Rejections are typical. But I’m doing pretty well at 3 offers to 5 rejections I think. Apparently I’ve something that people think other people will read and pay monies for. That’s terrific. That’s the goal.
But this rejection. It pissed me off a bit. I won’t name the company, because I think that’s just poor taste. But I’m not about to let this bullshit get to me.
Here’s the letter. With my comments in bold.
At this time we will not be moving forward as your publisher. We wish you the best of luck in your future writing and your publishing search. Although we cannot publish your title, our award-winning design team does offer services that can assist you with formatting and cover design. If you are interested, you can contact ******@****.
Right. So you can’t publish me, but you’ll take my money. I’m no dolt. I see what you’re doing here. Trying to make money off the multitude of rejections you probably give that drive people to self-publish. So, right off the bat, I can see that you have a vested interest in rejecting authors and driving them towards your ‘services’.
Acquisition Reviewer Notes:
Zane Grey meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when prehistoric beasts, including myriad dinosaurs under the control of a race of huge, carnivorous bipedal apes, living in a parallel world, discover a portal into the human world where they proceed to wreak unspeakable and savage havoc in the Wyoming Territory of 1885, beginning with the spread of outlaw cum respected rancher, Jedediah Huckleberry, and gradually moving to a tense showdown in the little town of Granite Falls.
Okay, that’s pretty awesome. I need to use that in my query letters.
To be successful, any book, I think, must create a world in which the reader is able to suspend disbelief, if only within the pages of that book. Obviously, the farther the subject is from the known world, the more difficult it is to create that acceptance, and with a book that is this far from the “known,” the task is huge. It simply doesn’t work for me. While the characters are, to some degree, compelling (Jedediah Huckleberry makes a very good anti-hero), the author just tries to do too much, and it’s just too hard for the reader to buy in. The ending, which leaves so many loose ends tangling, makes one think that the author finally grew just as weary of the whole thing as his reader does.
Lies. I didn’t fail at any of that.
How do I know this? Because I checked my ego at the door and asked hundreds of STRANGERS on the internet to critique me. These people had zero reason to boost my ego and tell me it was good when it wasn’t. (“This Book Doesn’t Suck.” – Reviews and Thoughts From Random People on the Internet.) Instead, they started reading and finished because they enjoyed what I created. This sounds like a generic cut and paste reason to reject someone.
So here’s the thing.
The guy who wrote these notes is the owner of the company and has published several of his own books. Guess what – they obviously haven’t sold for crap and the reviews ain’t great neither.
- Book 1: 13 reviews. 3 stars.
- Book 2: 11 reviews. 4 stars.
- Book 3: 4 reviews. 3 stars.
- Book 4: 1 review. 4 stars.
- Book 5: 1 review. 4 stars.
- Book 6: 0 reviews. 0 stars.
- Book 7: 1 review. 4 stars.
Tell me more about how you know a good book from bad. If we took out the obvious family members and friends, I’d bet most of your books would be 0-2 stars. I know, that’s a low blow. But seriously. No one appears to be buying your crap. Or reviewing it. That’s pretty pitiful coming from the owner/operator of a publishing house who would send out such brutal and blatantly false rejection letters.
It would appear that the author here is striving to occupy a niche, and in that, he is surely successful. The problem is that he is alone in that niche. I simply can not imagine a reader group who would join him there.
I’ll keep that in mind as I keep turning down publishing contracts and my email list of people who’ve read and enjoyed my book keeps growing. But hey, at least I’m not so terrible that I have to open my own publishing company to fail at selling my own books.
Apparently YOUR niche is a niche of ONE as well.
And I won’t be joining you there.
So let this be a lesson to people.
Not everyone has an opinion that is to be valued. As a writer, you need to learn what constructive criticism is, and when people are trying to take advantage of you or tear you down for no reason. OR, if they simply cannot tell a good book from a garbage book. Listen to your own instincts first, weigh their opinion, and then get more input if you aren’t certain.
But don’t let a single person or publisher crush your dreams. Keep writing. In the immortal rap lyrics of whom’s origin I don’t know – “Don’t stop, get it, get it.”
In other news, I found a picture drawn by my three year old daughter hanging up at her daycare of me.
The resemblance is uncanny!