Thursday, February 5, 2009

Funny, Unless Your Name Starts With An M & Ends In Eyers

The Who's News Blog

SK doesn't just dump on Stephanie, he dumps on quite a few successful writers.

It seems to be a more common comment I'm coming across, how many in the industry are constantly disappointed at some of the dreck (a word used quite often to describe this stuff) currently being published.

Put that together with the constant comment that it's a difficult thing to get published. Hundreds of queries land in the inbox (virtual and real) of agents, editors, and publishers every week. Slushers by the hundreds work at weeding out the first level of dreck. Editors weed out another level, and have writers revise what's left.

Publishers then work on getting more revisions done.

Everyone has an opinion on writers like Dan Brown, Stephanie Myers, JK, and others (what was that guy's name who wrote Eragon?), but the bottom line is they've written something that reaches a particular audience.

They have been professional enough to make their way through the dreck detectors and worked hard to produce something which reached the masses.

So next time you read something you feel should never had made it to print, think about all the work gone in behind it. Think about all the readers out there who have brought or read it, and think differently to you. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

So when one editor sends you a rejection letter, unless you really think the comments make sense and can improve the piece you love so much, then just send it on to another editor. If the writing is good, and a number of non-related individuals has given you feedback to confirm your suspicions that the work is good, then someone, somewhere, WILL eventually publish it. (If a family member is willing to give you honest feedback, then you're lucky, but you still need to get feedback from others without a vested interest in keeping you moderately happy - and just for the record, my primary reader is my wife, and she gives me very honest feedback.)

If, like in Jamie's situation, an editor is willing to maybe publish it if you do certain revisons, then it becomes a personal choice. How much do you want to retain the integrity of the original work? Are you happy enough just to get a sale, or are you trying to convey a certain style or comment that the changes would alter?

Personally, as I told Jamie, I'd write a new version specifically as the editor has requested, and send that in. If the editor still isn't happy and rejects it, then I'd return to the original version and recommence the submission process with a new market. It can't be that far from the mark if one editor liked it enough to ask for a resub.

And then we add the final two comments all such posts require. Regardless of anything else, keep writing and keep submitting. Persistance and determination is the only way to grow in the craft, and therefore the only path to success. (Another outstanding quote I just made up ;c))

Just my two cents for today.

Good luck with your submissions.


  1. Great post!

    Rarely do I get asked to make a change that goes against my voice. When I do, I listen to my gut. In doing so, I've learned how to say no, which hopefully means I'm growing as a writer : )

  2. Just talking and reading of people who have first books coming out this year I am amazed how much work is done after the sale. Stuart Neville says that it is a much sleeker version of the story he sent in and some significant differences in the 'meat of the story' as he put it. I hope it is a process I get to undergo sometime in my life.