Friday, August 17, 2007

Extremely Careful and Incredibly Rejected


Here's a rejection by Michelle Tessler, which came before Carlisle & Company exploded and broke into a million tiny agencies. She writes: "I am extremely careful about taking on new fiction, as it is quite difficult to place in the current marketplace."

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Though this is clearly a form letter, to me she has a far kinder and more writerly touch than most, more nice than earnest, don't you think?

Lobster Face said...

SO what does this mean: "I could not connect to the material"?

I see that a lot. Is that "code" for anything? What does "connecting" mean coming from the mouths of agents and editors?

an editor said...

There is no "code" that agents and editors use to reject people, "not being able to connect" means exactly what you would think it means - we didn't connect with the material. We didn't hate it, it wasn't terrible, but numbers dictate we have to reject 99% of the manuscripts that land on our desks. Publishing a book or taking on a new client is like entering into a romantic relationship, you have to be really sure of your feelings and feel them deeply before you make that leap. When you meet different people, some you connect with and some you don't, for whatever reason, nothing that anyone can really understand or put into words. That's all it means.

Lobster Face said...

Oh, yum. Sounds delicious, editor. Thanks. Mmmm... kiss.

Polish Me said...

So do I understand you correctly, that editors and agents are like the supermodels of the publishing world, so selective in choosing their mates, as it were, do they have to be? When we submit to a publication, we're doing the writing equivalent of asking (the newly single) Padma Lakshmi out on a date? And does that make the successful asker-outer the Salman Rushdie of the lit world? Oh, wait. Oh, shit. It's like some kind of recursive literary nightmare.