Good Bits / Bad Bites (writing rejections)

How difficult is it to get a printed book on the shelf?  For fans of irony, read on.  And there’s more writing rejections in my drawer.  Is it any wonder why eBooks are gaining on traditional publishers.  I’m hoping to put all my work into paperbacks in the near future.  Rejections are good for tax purposes only.

Do all the right things, create entertaining, readable stories….

Good bits from literary agencies:

“I found your concept to be intriguing, but regrettably must pass.  There’s a great deal to recommend the project…”  –  Talcott Notch Literary 

“Your work is certainly of merit…”  –  Robert Astle and Associates

“I’ve read enough of the material you sent to know that I like this book. I like the idea of a mystery told from a firefighter’s perspective.     Plus, the way you describe the fire is gripping.  Your writing is very well done…I like this book.            – Northern Lights Literary

“It’s well written and interesting.”  –  Greenhouse Literary

“…a traditional, high-octane adventure/thriller is always a good genre for the YA audience.”  –  Will Entertainment

“Sounds like a fascinating read.”  –  Mountainview Agency

“You have a real talent with language. Every scene you describe is vivid, and the dialogue is alive and authentic.”  –  TransAtlantic Literary Agency

“You have some good phrases that are colorful and promise the reader a good read…”  –  Great Titles

“…compelling and extremely well written.” – Dominek Abel Literary Agency, Inc.

“I like you and your stuff…”  –  Spiridon Agency

“The book does indeed sound imaginative and creative.”  –  Rebecca Pratt Literary

“Archie’s Gold” sounds like a spellbinding juvenile mystery novel that is sheer magic. There is a strong demand for well-written juvenile mystery novels now.”  –  Michelle Rooney Agency

“In reading it, I found that overall your writing shows a great deal of promise.”  –  National Writers Literary Agency

“Enough action and believable conundrums mixed in with fantasy to keep any them turning the pages to see what happens next.” – Author Author Agency

“The plot, characters, and interactions between the children and adults are all things editors look for.”  –  Heacock Literary Agency

“We are still very interested in working with you…”  –  Danie Cortese Entertainment

“…a thoughtful and compelling book.”  –  The Genert Company

*”The plot sounds a little tough for middle grade fiction, but sometimes different can be a strength.”  –  Catt LeBaigue, agent

“…I was charmed by Archie.”  –  The Rights Factory

“You are a fine writer with a great sense of drama and a good grasp of what boys will read.” – Lisa Rojany-Bucieri, Americhip Book

“We read your manuscripts with interest and enjoyment.”  –  Allen and Unwin Agency

from publishers:

“…your juvenile novel sounds original and engaging…”  –  First Books

“This story has some genuinely exciting parts.” – Holiday House

“Great stories, send the rest…” – Helm Publishing

“These stories are entertaining but would not garner us awards and reviews we need.”  –  Random House  (this outfit is psychic)

“We’re interested in publishing it…our editorial department enjoyed it.”  –  Tundra Press  (and they kept me on a string for 2-1/2 years knowing they were going to cut it for the last year and never told me until I called them about the delays)

“A wonderful sense of place, an interesting glimpse into adolescence in the seventies, a good story of a boy coping with the challenges of being a boy.  This is a real page turner.  …laced with descriptive touches that are not only apt and vivid but a pleasure to read.  Very very good!”  –  Anonymous judge for Writing For Youth Competition  (the other judges trashed it because of missing commas)

“Especially, I enjoyed reading the sections about actually fighting fires.” – ECW Press

“…Out On A Limb has great potential.  I love the juvenile series concept for eBooks.” –  Elwood eBooks (bankrupt)

“I enjoyed the description of the fire.”  –  ECW Press

“We read the above material and were impressed by the high standard of your writing.”  –  Harris, Harris, and Donahue, Ltd

“Fun story…”  –  Orchard Books

“…a real page-turner, I couldn’t put it down until the last page.”

“The writing voice you have developed in these pages is unique and one that could grab young readers.”  –  Lobster Press

“Likeable characters in realistic life situations…”   – Orchard Books

“I did finish reading Ransom…I did enjoy it.   …the characters were unique, had grit, and brought their own unique elements to the story.”  –  ECW Press

Bad bites:  After each of these wonderful comments is a but…Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting manuscripts;  cut back the agency; we are only able to accept a handful of new writers annually; does not fit with our list;  we are unable to take on another client;  we only want fantasy or teenie chick-lit; reducing our fiction list; resubmit in three years;  not our type of story;  simply overwhelmed with projects, not the right agent for it, focusing on our own clients; etc.

So what’s the deal about eBooks; you read them on a screen, right?  Well, yeah, but let’s not ignore the significance of this–it is a revolution.  The most important aspect of the revolution is they’ve taken the power of publishers away.  Writers can have the power now.  Publishers have made their own beds by sinking all their marketing into a handful of bestselling authors, ignoring all the rest without a thought for development and nurturing new talent.  They’ve clear cut the forest and haven’t replanted.  When this lucrative well of authors runs dry, where will they find the new bestsellers?   The large majority of bestseller authors have endured many, many rejections – Frank Baum, Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter (she had to self-publish) – but they persisted, paid their dues. These writers were willing to wait.

Society these days tends to be much more impatient.  Thanks to electronics we have instant access to many things and communication is blazing faster every day.  Authors today aren’t likely to suffer many rejections.  They will  run to the eBook providers, their shadows never appearing at the publisher’s door.

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