Rejection—on a requested manuscript--that is
Faster than a Speeding Bullet
|Author Christy McKee|
We are writers. Part of our job—the least favorite part for most of us— is querying editors to get our book in front of one of them. After we’ve given birth to our prose, developed multi-faceted characters, created an intriguing plot, revised, buffed and polished, our creation is ready to be sent out into the real world to become a book. We know rejection is likely, and many of us have a wall of them to prove it. All we need is one editor to read it and give us the nod.
My book was ready to be sent out and I started taking advantage of every online pitching opportunity to find a publisher. When an editor contacted me on Monday morning with an enthusiastic email about my book, I sent her the requested synopsis and three chapters by the end of the day and celebrated my good fortune that night with a glass of Riesling. My excitement meter started hovering over happy. Three days later, the editor contacted me again, asking for the full manuscript which I sent it within the hour. The excitement meter was a hair from “over joyed.”
I wasn’t naïve enough to think I would hear anything back for a while; it was, after all, a 97,000 word manuscript. After all, editors have stacks of submission emails cluttering their computers, not to mention the virtual six foot high slush pile in the corner. So when I checked my emails in the afternoon, I was amazed to have an email from the publisher. This time it was the editor’s assistant saying the editor was on vacation and would review the book when she returned in a week. Ok. Even editors deserve a vacation.
The real surprise came the next morning when I received an email from the editor rejecting the book. How did she find the time to read it? She’d had it for under twenty-four hours. Did she simply decide to clear her desk before she went on vacation? Was I the victim of pre-vacation house cleaning? I tossed my excitement meter into the bottom drawer. The weekend loomed dark ahead of me.
I could handle a rejection, I told my husband. My collection of them is rather impressive. My gut told me the manuscript had never been read. Saturday morning my husband left me a sweet note before he left for his golf game. “Send it back out there today.”
Right after breakfast I took his suggestion and sent out it to another publisher. Within two days I received a request for a full and a week later I got a big fat “yes” to the book. Of course receiving a faster than a speeding bullet acceptance far out shines the rejection. However, my pet peeve still stands. Rejections, on requested full manuscripts, that are faster than a speeding bullet, are a more emphatic way of saying “NO” than a timely and subtle “not right for us” rejection. At least you have reason to think someone actually read your work.
It was our own Lea Schizas who gave me the big fat “yes” and the book, Maybe Too Good to Be True, was released by MuseIt Up Publishing in August, 2012.