My novel "The Hat Man" has clocked up 13 rejections.....
Now a good percentage of these were personal letters from editors.
The last but one was not only encouraging, but the writer expressed their regret in that my story was not what they were looking for. They then went on to request I submit any I had that was within certain guidelines. Also the editor in question suggested a possible market for my book.
Now what do I do now?
Continue to submit to the type of publishers suggested or present these and other comments/remarks I have from publishers about this piece to an agent????
December 13th, 2002, 03:53 PM
This honestly depend upon what your after. If your seeking an audience go for the reputable agent and forget about it for a while. It seems to be consumning too much of your time, so put it in the hands of someone else and write a story about fish, for Holbrook, you a writer of exponentiality.
December 13th, 2002, 11:16 PM
Well Holbrook, one good thing is that the rejection letters were personal, which means that the editors actually spent time reading your manuscript and were sufficiently impressed by it.
My suggestion, either persist or find a publisher whose guidelines runs more or less in parallel to yours than tweak your story slightly to suit their requirement. I know it hurts but sometimes that appears to be the only way you can get things published.
December 14th, 2002, 12:17 AM
I would say that it would depend on what type of publishers they suggested. If they seem, well, a bit dodgy (sp?) to you, then go for the agent angle.
... Just thought about this--is it possible to send your manuscript to the suggested publishers and to agents at the same time? Or is that a no-no?
December 14th, 2002, 12:21 AM
Holbrook - Did they give you specifics on why they rejected it? If so, I assume you have made all the changes you deem neccessary, in which case just keep trying. Surely you haven't tried everywhere yet. Otherwise, you need to find out why certain people like it and others don't.
December 14th, 2002, 12:22 AM
My recommendation would be to follow the editor's suggestion for possible markets for your book, and submit to them. It sounds like this person did appreciate your work, and since hopefully he or she is knowledgeable about the market you are getting some good advice there. I don't believe you should send information about your rejections to agents, regardless of how positive the individual letters may be. You only want to discuss successes with potential agents, not rejections. Seeing rejection letters only tells an agent that a number of people have already seen your work and turned it down - that won't encourage them to give you a try or buck the tide.
There are, of course, hundreds of books out there on how to get your work published, but let me recommend one that I've used that is a real meat and potatoes work. It's called The Career Novelist, by Donald Maass. He is an agent, and a pretty good one (which I say even though he turned my book down too!), and he tells it all very straight. His book has a lot of good practical advice.
And keep submitting - we've all heard the stories about wallpapering your bathroom with rejection notices, so 13 is not even a whole wall yet. Keep believing in your work, and have the patience of Job, and it will all come to you eventually.
December 14th, 2002, 02:29 AM
I will try and answer the questions raised.
Yes I do know the reasons the "The Hat Man" was rejected and it wasn't the story, content or presentation. It just didn't fit the specific guidelines the editor was looking for. I knew it was borderline when I submitted it, it was a long shot, but has paid off in some respects.
The editor is keen to see any of my work that falls within the guidelines they supplied. So my work had caught their eye. Though I am not stupid to believe that just because they wish to see more of my work they will turn round and print it *g* But it is a start.
The market is not a "dodgy" one at all, it is one I never thought of before. But the more I think on it the more it seems to fit. Though I believe slight alterations will have to be made to small areas to "tone" down certain aspects of the work.
Also a quick look at various publisher sites has shown me that this is a field that is very open to unsolicited manuscripts.
Radthorne: I am going to continue, but change course a little and aim for the branch of publishing the editor has suggested.( The editor works at one of the top US publishers)
This and the fact that the piece that I have that is suitable is only in first draft and that unfinished means I might not be around here much ;)
December 15th, 2002, 07:29 PM
It's hard to give good advice when the two alternative paths are not clearly known:
this is a field that is very open to unsolicited manuscripts
I do understand why you are being coy, and don't want you to feel you should reveal the market openly, but am merely pointing it out because this may qualify my advice somewhat.
Firstly, this is actually a success (in the guise of a rejection). Clearly your work has been read and appreciated by a number of publishers, which is no mean feat.
My advice would be the road of an agent. A good agent will take a look at your most recent rejection, and not only understand the market being recommended, but will know people in that market. This means that you have a higher chance of having your work read (it really is who you know sometimes). That's a foot in the door for starters. Also, having an agent adds a level of professionalism that may give you just that added push you need when your manuscript lands on someone's desk. But make sure you get an agent that is recommended by published authors. Test the agent on their knowledge of the suggested market - don't feel you necessarily should be "going begging"!
December 15th, 2002, 11:35 PM
Well it proves your work is readable - so you know you can at least write something that people will actually read rather than gloss over! (A very good thing :) )
And the notes are personal ones rather than standard issue, so maybe that would help with an agent? (I'm not knowledgable about such things, but it also proves that you're serious and a "more than one book" person.)
I don't know if publishers ever recommend particular agents or not - but maybe that would be worth checking?
It may seem like baby steps... but you've gotten further IMO than this time last year, so who knows what next year will bring?
:) Keep going!
December 16th, 2002, 06:00 AM
Im pretty new on here and although I don't know anything about you (as others on here seem to) or your writing, I think you are on the right track. I have little or no experience in getting a book published since I haven't gotten to that point yet, although I have many works in progress that I intend to attempt raising to published status one day. To me, the whole thing seems kind of like a joke that relies on a bunch of critics that can't write themselves that don't want to publish anything new (only carbon copies of crappy bestsellers or their sisters chapbook or their friend's uncle who has a lot of money to invest). I just plan to write because I like to laugh at the critics and publishers and agents who think I need them (but of course I will read their opinions to see if any of them are worth noting). If you keep trying hard, in new ways, something will work out for you. Myself, I'm not even worried about it at this point. I'm an entrepreneur in many different genres of entertainment, and although I haven't made a lot of money yet, I've been learning a lot and trying crazy unrecommended things. Besides, I'm still young. I'm confident I will somehow do things my own ridiculous way like I always have. That is what intrigued me about your post; this mysterious market that has been recommended to you that is open to unsolicited material is exactly the kind of stuff I'm always researching and looking into. I have a few good guesses about what you're going to try to do, one of which is probablly right. I wanted to tell you that you are using your brain and are on the track to success. Think outside the box. Best of luck.