1. Gemima

    Gemima New Member

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    R&R Request From Publisher

    Discussion in 'Publisher Discussion' started by Gemima, Nov 10, 2018.

    Hello there,

    I'm just wondering if anyone has experience in responding to a revise and resubmit request?

    I sent my first novel (full women's fiction manuscript) direct to a publisher and just received some really lovely, positive and thoughtful feedback with an R&R request to consider increasing the focus on the tension and chemistry within the MC's romance 'a little' (there is currently a shared focus within my novel on the business the MC opens which is integral to the story and a lot of the plot elements, as well as on the budding romance (also integral), which is why I felt it fitted more into the women's fiction than the romance genre).

    I'm very grateful for the feedback and happy to try making the necessary revisions even if they don't result in acceptance down the track, but I just feel at a loss as to where to start and to what extent the edit needs to be. Am I literally transforming the novel to fully fit into the romance genre or am I just bringing the romantic element in sooner and more frequently and with increased sizzle? Do I decrease/ minimize the business focus too (though i haven't been asked to do this - the easiest bit to cull would be the initial business set-up parts to replace, intersperse or incorporate with more romance elements)?

    Another aspect i've deliberately avoided is going into sexual detail within the novel - of course there are some passionate scenes where one thing leads to another, but rather than describing the entire act in detail i've left it obvious to the reader that that's what happens next. The reason being that on a personal level i feel we already live in an exploitative, sex saturated culture and I don't always think it's necessary to include gratuitous graphic sexual content to hope to boost someone's enjoyment of a film/book/ novel. But should I consider abandoning this principal to address the chemistry element?

    Is it ever ok to reply to a publisher to query your understanding of what is being requested and asking for a little more specific direction if you do intend to resubmit?

    If you've gone through this before what did you do and how long did the R&R process take you and were you ultimately successful?

    I feel so close and yet sooo far.

    Just as an aside I have also queried an agent who has a particular interest in women's fiction with an additional hook other than the primary romance such as career.

    I really appreciate any thoughts/ suggestions/experiences and of course your time. Thank you
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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  2. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    I've done R&Rs a couple times. I think at least once I've responded to the message asking for a bit more clarity, and it wasn't a problem. I mean, they've already spent hours reading your MS, then gone to the trouble of writing a personalized response... it doesn't seem like a bad idea to ask for a bit of clarification if that's what's needed to make their efforts actually useful.

    I don't think I can offer much in the way of specific advice, beyond that.
     
  3. Gemima

    Gemima New Member

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    Thanks Bayview I really appreciate that
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    Let us know how it goes!
     
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  5. DeeDee

    DeeDee Senior Member

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    Publishers usually have their own preferences as to what sort of books they accept, so it's always good to start by familiarizing yourself with their output. The great thing of having an agent is that an agent will be more willing to provide advice for a client. With a publisher you might still ask for a follow-up clarification but since you are not their client yet, they may not be as patient. So take your time and make the book the best as best you can. No publisher would reject a great book, just because it arrived a bit later.

    Only a person who've read the book can provide detailed advice. But as an author, you should be able to judge what works and what doesn't. If you know your genre well, you'll be able to compare your book to others. If the publisher has pointed out the lack of tension, then try to see where the plot is sagging, what could be boring and needs to be cut out, what's slowing down the pace, where you need to up the emotional content. If the chemistry within the romance is lacking, again check out how likeable the characters appear, or even how they compare to other similar characters in books and movies. Check the dynamic between them: are they doing exciting things that will keep the reader excited as well, or are they going through a mundane routine that may appear boring?

    The business side of life can be integral to the book, it was so in "Chocolat". But it's not possible to say how much of it you need in your book without actually reading the book! In "50 shades" both MCs had jobs but the jobs were not essential and the plot included business details on "need-to-know" basis. "DaVinci Code" includes vast passages of MC's knowledge about historical towns and buildings, which are not essential to the plot but are quite interesting to read. Everything you include in your book should be somehow interesting to read, otherwise it will seem like "there is too much of it".
     
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