Discussion in 'Publishing' started by deadrats, Aug 19, 2016.
Publishing big places is not as crazy as you might think.
You’ve had good news?
I read the odds of getting an agent is about 6,000-1. So really, what’s the point? But if we all thought like that nobody would write anything.
I’ve got my book out in full with about 5 or 6 agents so the odds are now probably still 100-1
It is certainly difficult to get accepted in major periodicals - or be picked up by publishing houses of note!
But you can always feel glad that you are a native speaker; for non-native speakers of English it is even more difficult!
Congrats on your success.
Any reason why you are writing in English as opposed to your native language?
It's hard enough writing in ones own language!
Received a rejection today I’d long since already assumed was a rejection. From an April submission. Oh well.
I just found out that that anthology I was accepted for that got cancelled because the business folded is now back on because another publisher bought them out .
An 18-day form rejection from West Branch.
I think it is only one in six thousand if you give up too soon, or aren't really aiming at getting an agent. I've done some karate casually, so I figure that if I were to start fighting now, I'd have about a one in six thousand chance of winning 10 fights in a row and getting into the UFC. That's how the low odds thing always sounded to me. Like, of course you can't do it yet. You aren't even trying yet.
And fighting as an analogy for writing only works because we think there is some randomness or luck in success, or that we might be better than we are, or that the winner of a competition can win because of what they chose, rather than how they prepared. Everyone has a "puncher's chance." Writing might be more like running marathons. I walk a few miles every day. I jog occasionally. So, I figure my chances of completing a marathon, or winning any foot race at all, is exactly zero.
I think that for people who are aiming their writing technique, skill, and content at the market that requires agents, and if they stay with it every day for 7-10 years (assuming average innate ability), then the odds are more like one in four. The vast majority of people give up too soon, or feel accomplished after finishing their novel and don't care anymore, or decide they would rather self publish.
Some optimistic screenwriters say that they broke in by writing twenty+ scripts, making themselves "inevitable." That might be survivor bias, but certainly some people who made it were very, very persistent.
I really like this - it gives more confidence! I’m not giving up and whilst I’m still not there I do feel as if I’m in some ways ahead of schedule, after all I’m only querying my first novel.
I had a rejection from Dreamforge a couple of months ago. They said they would give feedback and I finally got it last night:
Sorry to take so long getting back to you, especially since I don't have a lot of notes for you. A surprisingly affecting and effective story.
We really liked it. You did very well, and I hope this finds a good home soon.
For us it was just a case of too many time travel stories recently, with an epic time travel novelette split over issues 5 & 6. So, we weren't going to be able to do time travel in issue 7.
Some of our team felt the ending was a bit weak, but I think that's a judgment call.
So I guess that’s positive- I’ve already submitted it somewhere else this morning:
Most oldest submission reached 600 days today. It still says "in-progress" on submittable. I have a few others in the 500s (not many, though). They all still say "in-progress." I tried to query, but it was during lockdown and I never got any responses. Man, some of these places really do take forever.
I have another story out that I've been waiting to get rejected by the places they have it. I want to send it to somewhere that doesn't take simultaneous submissions. This story has gotten quite a few personal rejections. I went through it again and changed the title before sending it out in the last batch and before I thought about sending it to the place that doesn't take simultaneous submissions. Well, it's still out there, and one of the places that has it has had it a really long time (closer to 200 than 600 days). Don't get me wrong, the places that currently have my story are dream publications, but because of that I've been expecting rejection. I thought about withdrawing the story maybe a month ago, but than I was thinking I should just wait because any day I'll get a response. It's just turning into a much longer wait than expected. It's crossed the threshold of average response times for rejections. Maybe?
My last acceptance was a complete shock. I would love for that to happen again. Even when places take a really long time, I start to count on getting some sort of personal rejection, but that doesn't always happen. And most things don't work out. I found it hurts more when I get too optimistic. So, in my mind I'm just waiting for these rejections to come in.
Do you guys get excited when things seem to be taking forever? Or do you still play it cool? What's the longest you've ever had to wait for a response? Anyone else have submissions out right now that seem to be taking forever?
a long wait is a weird one. Some days I get frustrated and want to give the agents a nudge, even if it tempts rejection. Other days I’m convinced the longer they have it the more chance I’ve got of being accepted
I'm pretty much the same way.
An 11-day form rejection from One Story.
As someone who has sent out those rejection letters in the past, I can tell you that sometimes it honestly has less to do with the quality of the writing and more with elements outside of a writer's control---for example, even working on a small publication taking ten or twenty poems or short stories, it isn't unusual to receive *thousands* of entries, even if you are a "small" publisher. As for the big dogs, they get tens of thousands of submissions, both agented and not (which if you haven't gotten one, I might suggest finding an agent; there are separate inboxes for solicited vs. unsolicited works, and most give preference to solicited(agented) works primarily because they've often been through an extra round or two of tailoring to ensure they're publish-ready and thus easier to put out).
Now don't get me wrong, there are those times when you honestly wonder what a writer was on when they submitted something (mostly for problems like continuity errors or terrible grammar that would be more effort than what's in the budget to fix) but overall it truly is just a numbers game. For those who mention giving publishers time to forget your name, there are those who blind-read submissions so that's not really going to be much help there (not to mention how many tired-eyed slush pile readers barely bother to look at, much less remember names). All in all, you just need to know what kind of publisher you are submitting to and submit the writing you have that is a best fit to the publisher (ergo, no submitting your sultry tropical romance to a space sci-fi publisher), particularly if they do publications with themes, etc....
Just keep at it, keep improving, and keep writing. You will be recognized one day by someone who reads your work and leaps up ready to defend it for inclusion; and even if not, you will always have the forums here to share your work!
A 201-day personal rejection from Carve.
A 125-day form rejection from Granta.
Separate names with a comma.