Sunday, July 15, 2007

I'm Printing This, and There's Nothing Sales Can Do About It! Ha!

Didn't you forget another twig on the branching rejection tree? That is, isn't it true that most editors don't have carte blanche to publish the manuscripts they discover and adore in the slush pile? -- they have to pass the manuscript by a committee of editors, and a marketing team, and an accountant, and the janitor, who may all say "We don't like this," or "This won't sell." Well, maybe not the janitor.
Or would you have contacted the author with positive feedback by this point, so that it wouldn't count as a mysterious rejection?

This is correct. Until we've got our own imprint or are running the department, we have to get positive feedback from the team. It doesn't have to be universal, of course. One of the other editors having doubts about it is different from Sales or Marketing having doubts about it. But if I like something enough to show it to the team, and the team doesn't get behind it the way I hoped, I will send a very nice letter to the author.

3 comments:

Wendie O said...

At least you'll send a letter. We appreciate that.

Too many publishers these days just leave authors hanging. No news means we rejected it. Really? It also can mean:
1) we lost it and have never seen it
2) we have it in our to-read pile
3) we have it in our pile to send a nice rejection, but the pile's so high we don't know when we'll actually do it. (two or three years later, maybe)

These are just a few from my own experience.

Anonymous said...

That exact thing just happened to me at a big house. The editor loved it, but marketing thought it might 'slip through the cracks.' The editor was really disappointed, but I just took it as: the wrong fit. If marketing isn't going to get behind it, it's the wrong place to be.

Deirdre Mundy said...

I've sent out over 150 submissions (some to magazines, but...)

of those: None have been lost in the mail

One got temporarily lost in an office move only to resurface with a form rejection a month after my resent copy returned with a personalized rejection.

So I feel pretty confident that in the case of "no SASE --we'll respond if interested" the publisher will actually respond if interested...

I've also noticed that in the cases where I get a personalized rejection with comments, it happens VERY quickly... in about 1/2 the posted response time....

The form rejections always come right at or just after the limit.....

So my other policy on "No SASE" submissions is that if I haven't heard back in 2 months, I assume it's rejected and get back to work, even though I won't try the publisher with something else until the official deadline has passed....

But then again, I'm in picture book mode right now... If I had a novel that I'd spent 3 years on, and if I didn't have a backlog of manuscripts waiting to be submitted, I might feel differently......