Monday, August 27, 2012

Dear Rocky: Absolutely Crushed

Dear Rocky,

I’m absolutely crushed and I just want to share. 

Last year I finished polishing my fifth YA manuscript (a previous contest finalist!), and in February an editor requested a full.  Elated doesn’t even begin to encompass my joy at sending her the manuscript. 

In April she let me know how much she liked my voice, but she saw a few areas in the pacing and plot that could be improved.  She told me that she would take a second look at the book if I wanted to make those changes, but that it was just her opinion and that others might like the book as written.

Did I want to make the changes?!  Yes!  I’ve been trying to sell a book for years!

It took me about four weeks to finish the edits and once again, off went my hopes and dreams.

I recently heard from her, and while she was very kind, I was absolutely crushed.  She’s accepted a job with another publisher where she’ll only acquire and edit non-fiction.  No offer to forward my book to another editor at her old house.  No comments on my changes.  Nothing.

Writing this was painful, and while I know there’s really nothing to be done, I thought sharing my tale of woe might make me feel better.  I think it did.  Thanks for listening.

Absolutely Crushed


Dear Absolutely,

I feel your pain.  Truly.

But I also feel the need to put on my “positive-spin” hat and encourage you to get multiple queries out the door as soon as possible.  That way, you’ll once again be filled with hope, which might help offset your crushed emotions.

The editor liked your voice and thought your book deserved consideration.  Remind yourself of that.  Often!  And get those queries out the door so another editor or an agent has the opportunity to enjoy your voice.

CIR recently interviewed Debra Dixon, Editor at BelleBooks and Belle Bridge Books, and when asked what she would like to see more of, Debra said, “Amazing voices.  That answer makes writers want to stab themselves, but we are looking for strong voices.” 

They are looking for strong voices, as is every editor.  Your voice, perhaps.

Thank you for sharing your tale.  Hopefully, someday soon, we’ll receive a joyful, follow-up email from you, one that shares your tale of success.  

Best regards,


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The Dear Rocky column is published on the last Monday of the month.


Patricia Stoltey said...

This happens a lot, I think. It's also not uncommon to have an agent tell a writer what they think needs to be done to improve a manuscript and invite the writer to submit again if changes are made...then to apologize but reject the manuscript anyway. That's why we writers need to be so darned tough, and why we need to do exactly what Rocky suggests and get more queries in the mail.

Peg Brantley said...

Great advice. I print out nice comments fairly regularly (or at least put them in a folder I can access) because I know they'll come in handy when I'm feeling crushed.

Karen Duvall said...

I can totally relate to our friend Crushed here. A few years ago I went back and forth on revisions with an editor at Silhouette Intimate Moments (now Harlequin Romantic Suspense) for 18 months. I'd thought sure I was "in" and a contract was forthcoming, but alas, I got a rejection letter when that editor left the company. I was thoroughly crushed.

Life goes on and now Harlequin is my publisher, so things can turn around and often do. Take heart! Good things are waiting for you just around the corner. :)

Rob and Suz said...

It might be worthwhile to find out where that editor went and follow her with your manuscript. She may not have been allowed to encourage you to send it to her new employment. If she liked it before, she may like it again.