1. AnrBjotk
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    AnrBjotk Member

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    Still no reply from publishers

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by AnrBjotk, Apr 29, 2012.

    I sent the MSS to the publishers six weeks ago, they wrote they would reply in 3-4 weeks. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
    I always thought it was bad, since if they were interested they would reply quickly. But then I heard the author Colin Dexter didn't get a reply for three months and he got published.
    What is your experience? Long time good or bad?

    Namaste.
     
  2. madeleinefarraday
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    madeleinefarraday Member

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    Did you query first, or did you just send your manuscript? Did you ask them first if they were interested in your work? How did you choose this publisher, or how did they choose you?
     
  3. AnrBjotk
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    AnrBjotk Member

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    Well, first off, I'm norwegian, the rules are slightly different. Here you just send the script, almost no one has agents, etc.
    So, I just sent the script to them. They sent me a letter saying they would reply within that time. I chose the publisher because they are one of the better ones, publishing the countries biggest and best authors. I have sent them things before, always rejected, of course. But I mentioned the few things I have published in the letter to them.
     
  4. madeleinefarraday
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    madeleinefarraday Member

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    Ah, I see. Well, I am not sure what to tell you then. If you've been in touch with them before and they always reply, I would just hang in there. Good luck! Very interesting to hear about how it's done in another country!
     
  5. AnrBjotk
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    AnrBjotk Member

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    But you dont know what the amount of time could mean? I mean, on one hand it could mean they are discussing it a lot and sending it to different readers and experts, or it could mean that they are more busy working with novels they actually want to publish and they are postponing replying because its not a priority...
     
  6. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    I'd guess that unless there are other Norwegians here we can't be much help. I recently saw a post by an author with dozens of books in print that he'd just received a rejection for a novel he sent to a publisher two years before, so certainly American publishers can take a very long time to reply.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm swedish and I have been waiting for 6 months now for one publisher to get back to me. Here they say they usually reply within 3 months, are you sure it didn't say months and not weeks? :)
     
  8. AnrBjotk
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    AnrBjotk Member

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    It was weeks, I'm sure. And it never took this long before...
     
  9. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    My guess would be workload. Publishers must be inundated with manuscripts every day, and there are only so many people available to read them - usually overworked assistants who are sifting out the half decent stuff from the crap so they can pass on anything of interest to their editors. Then those editors have to free up time to read and give consideration to the manuscripts that deserve more than a cursory glance. 3 - 4 weeks would be unusually swift turnaround for a US or UK based publishing house, so don't fret yet. give it another couple of weeks and then maybe contact them citing their previous response and timescale. But you won't win any favours for being impatient and bugging them, so be gentle about the reminder or they might just reject you out of desire to provide a quick response and get you out of their hair ;)
     
  10. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Be patient. The time for a response listed in the guidelines is probably a best case scenario. Expect 2 to 3 times longer. Of course, the easy rejections are returned fast.

    What are your options? Contact the editors and tell them to hurry reading or bump yours ahead of the others? Pull the manuscript? Like most markets/publishers/agents, they're probably stacked high with manuscripts to consider. I'm a slush reader for a small ezine. The submissions never stop, there are always more to read and consider...always. And there are only so many publishing slots available.

    If the market is truly the best match/where you'd like to see the work published, then wait it out. Focus on writing new pieces to send out there instead of focusing on this one. I know it's easy to say, but it's the best thing to do. It's what I do.
     
  11. AnrBjotk
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    AnrBjotk Member

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    That's my fantasy. I mean, I know I will be rejected, all I want is some constructive criticism, but that is a lot to ask from a busy publisher. I want to get the rejection over with, maybe with some words of where I can improve, so I can start re-writing and send it out again. I have continued to write, rewriting, adding, editing, etc.
    My fear is just the shock of waiting three months only to get that awful "Sadly, a publication is not relevant at his juncture." Which is so patronising, as it always reads more like "F*** off, you talentless moron".

    I know 99% get the pre-written rejection, but you'd think that if they actually considered it, they would tell me so.
    Last time I got a rejection I actually got a letter writing that I was close, but not quite there. Which is a rare treat.

    Have been thinking of contacting authors to ask them if they would consider reading the script and giving their opinion, for money of course. The publishers are so impersonal.

    I don't know what the percentage is where you are, but in Norway the statistics are 0,5% get accepted. That is very slim pickings. One wonders why people even bother.

    Namaste
     
  12. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Eh. I know what you're talking about. Here it's 1 out of a thousand. Not very encouraging.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it could mean anything at all... including that your ms got lost somehow... so, i'd suggest waiting a couple more weeks and then calling them to see if it's still in the works or could have been mislaid... it won't hurt to ask...
     
  14. AnrBjotk
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    AnrBjotk Member

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    Ok... so... it has taken me a few days to get over it, and I'm sure you all assumed it to be so, but, yes, I got the rejection letter. And not even a good one. Not like last time, when I sent poems, and got a nice letter saying I was close but not quite there... This was just, no thanks, not interested "at this time", thanks for letting us read it. I didn't even get the common "We look forward to hearing from you again".
    I mean, who was I kidding? I'll never be a writer, I'll never get a novel published. I continue to have essays published in small unread publications.... Just because friends and people at my university have circulated my thesis among each other and told me I "HAD" to write a novel... I somehow thought anyone besides my immediate circle would care...

    I guess I'll rewrite, send in again, continue for a year, maybe two, then eventually give up.

    Sorry for wasting everyone's time.
     
  15. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Yikes, guy, you have to quash that kind of thinking with a capital "Q"!

    You did something that many of us might never do, that is, actually completed a project, polished it, found a publisher and mailed the thing in. Think of the reverse pyramind.

    Millions write stories. A few thousand ever finish. When finished, lots of guys find the completion of a catharsis and stuff the story into a drawer for all eternity. Maybe a few dozen guys ever put the opus into the mailbox and face the acid test of having it read by a professional.

    You did that. Look, I value bravery. You did what lots of the members here fear. Pick yourself off of the saloon floor. Find a pool cue. Extract revenge from the bully. In your case, let some other publisher make you a millionaire. Then send annoucements to all of those who doubted you.
     
  16. AnrBjotk
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    AnrBjotk Member

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    Thank you. That's very nice of you to say.

    Already I have discovered many chapter and paragraphs that are sub-par, and need not just polishing, but entire rewrites. Already deleted 15 pages.

    Of course, the frustrating thing is the lack of specifics in a rejection letter. What was bad? What didn't work? Where, if anywhere, was it good?
    I know publishers are overworked and that far too many send in half-arsed works, and that they couldn't come close to even give a single remark to every script received; But surely, a standard rejection gives the "author" little to work with. Is the aim to discourage authors? To destroy hope? Is is the elitist organization so many bitter would-be-authors claim it to be?
    How can one not feel bitter when the entire thing is based on the paradoxical logic of: They won't give you much attention unless you're well-known, but in order to get well-known you need to be published...
    I will spend the summer months rewriting every single chapter. And I will carry on doing so until someone either tells me where I'm going wrong or where I'm going right.
    If nothing else, I can be like Charles Bukowski, ten years of rejection but the man kept going, now every shopping list he made is being published!

    Thank you, and please keep the empathy coming ;)
     
  17. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    No prob. Like the old adage says, "We're all bozos on this bus."

    As for polishing, I just contacted a member this morning--he/she just sold something. So imagine my future embarrassment when I send him/her the dreaded "Chapter Five." A pivotal section that introduces necessary supporting characters, has an action scene that defines my lead's future impetus, becomes the driving force for everyone else's impetus--and is so poorly crafted it reads like a second grader's discarded first draft!

    I'm (at best) a year away from sending mine to a publisher.

    From this point in time, you can proudly say, "I'm an author, I have already submitted a book." It's a red badge of courage, my friend.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Firesign Theater's fourth album, I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus
     
  19. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Try to resist sending off a manuscript until you have perfected it all you can. And everyone gets rejections. My friend has published about 12 novels, then her agent died, now she's having problems finding an agent.
     
  20. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Don't be so discouraged - remember JK Rowling was also rejected by many publishers before Bloomsbury picked her up ;)

    And as someone else has said, you did what many writers only dream of doing. I've only just finished my first draft and that was quite enough hard work for me - I still feel like I'll never finish. You not only finished, but you polished and sent the thing off. Give yourself some credit!

    I personally hired an editor to look over the MS for me. I believe I'm a good writer (we all do on here, or none of us would write really) but I'm not sure if I'm at publishable standard, and frankly no one's gonna help you unless you pay someone who has a professional eye to go over it. So that's what I'm doing - once I've rewritten my first draft, I'll send it to my editor for the first time to have it looked over. It might be worth doing that - think of it as like attending a private creative writing class where your tutor (editor) is helping you out on a personal project I guess!
     
  21. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Keep in mind that publishers will often reject things for very subjective reasons. They don't just want a good story, they want a story they think will sell. So, they will turn down great works of literature simply because they think the market isn't right for it right now. "Not interested at this time" means, to me, that your writing is definitely publishable, but not in today's market.

    In any case, keep improving your writing. Now, I've never read your work - you could be a brilliant writer, ten times as good as I will ever be, but I would say the same thing. The moment you stop improving, either by saying "I'll never be good enough," or "This is as good as I'll ever be as a writer" is the moment you've failed. You can get a hundred rejection letters, but if you keep going then you haven't ever failed. Because if you keep at it, keep improving, keep getting critiqued, you will be published.

    So, this week is an amazing success for you. You put yourself out there, you got burned, and you're back in your writing chair. Congratulations on your success.
     
  22. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know they don't often give constructive criticism on the ms the reject, but I actually contacted the last publisher to send me a rejection letter and asked if they could give me a brief explaination, and guess what? THEY DID! They even pointed out what was good besides from what needed improvement, so I was thrilled. Sometimes the answers are just another email away. Don't be afraid to contact them again and ask. In the worst case they don't answer, but they might just well do just that, and then you'll know.
     
  23. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    This is excellent advice and very constructive. I do believe that there is another facet to this, and that is the OP is 'one of our own.' We're here to help just as we would want help in return. He was down, and for no good reason, his plight will happen to us all. He needed us, and I think that's also a valid point we should address as a forum.
     
  24. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    most agents and publishers truly do get way too many submissions for them to be able to do more than send a stock rejection... in fact, it's often only a mail clerk or lowest-level assistant who takes a look at the queries and submissions and either passes them on to an agent/editor only if they feel they fit the firm's parameters of 'acceptable' material... so look at it from their side and forgive them for not having time to read more than the first couple of pages or give you feedback...

    the good news is they sent you a rejection at all... some don't even do that!

    congrats on getting this far and the best of luck getting to the next milestone...
     

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