Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Laundry List Rejections

One industrious LROD reader compiled a list of rejections received for his two novels. I'm assuming he took some liberties when summarizing the main rejection messages. Here's the list:

we find this book too complicated for our readers
we think there are too many "fucks" in this book
we wouldn't be able to sell more than 12 copies of this book
we cannot take a risk with such a postmodern novel
we could face a law suit with this book
we find this book totally unreadable
we find this book too narrow in scope
we think the characters need fleshing out
we think this book could use a good rewriting -- it's too short
we are tired of publishing books about the Holocaust
we are looking for books that teach people how to improve their lives
we think your book would make the readers suffer
we think your book needs a happy ending
we think nobody gives a shit about the lives of farmers in Southern France
we love the subject of the book, but at the present time the relations between England and France, being what they are, your book would not receive favorable attention from British readers

Reads kind of like a poem, doesn't it?


Anonymous said...

"We think your book would make your readers suffer!"

Do they print it on paper that turns into flame when you touch? Needles in the book jacket? Exploding ink?

Anonymous said...

if they don't want it, they don't want it. i ask myself too: why am i still doing this?

i've reduced it to a game. i call it "shove". i shove all my stuff out there. the number of submissions and queries at any one time? a good three digits. there are so many places to submit and all are overstaffed and have huge piles of the stuff and i do it too, i shove my work to all of them. i shove my work out in these envelopes and the people at these universities pull them out of the envelopes and shove them back into an envelope i have provided, adding to it a little slip so i know that it was there, like a radio qsl card, a tiny paper slip to know that my stuff has touched their desk. and that's about all it did on their end, because chances are they didn't read it, usually didn't consider it longer than a second, i do know that. (the times i get work back, you can tell when nobody went past the first page. a batch of five poems, none read. sometimes a sheet will be unfolded just to refold into the sase. happens all the time. these places are assembly lines as well.)

so they shove it back to me and then i take it and i shove it back again, to someone else. i just shove. sometimes i've shoved a piece to thirty places and i keep on shoving it. i'll shove it back again to somewhere i once shoved it to when they get a new editor, and i'll keep on shoving. i bulk up on paper and supplies once a month and yes the whole thing costs money to keep going. i've been doing this for years and meanwhile my work is adding up. i have a whole lot more to shove these days. i am a loner and i live a life of shoving.

this is actually my daily existence right now; i've had the special luxury to do this full time for some months, so i'm in full swing at this moment. i have so many things out there. every day i get about a dozen back and when i do i shove them right back out.

i don't know why i do it anymore because i know that for the most part the editors aren't even looking, or they have kids handling the envelopes or the mail's being screened or they're long sick of me, and even if i get one of them to bite (my acceptance rate is about one percent), i know it doesn't have all that much of a great effect. but i can't stop, i have to write and want to share it with the world. want to eventually get paid for it too and i don't know what else there is that i could so. so i just shove.

i shove it out there and the people always take it and they shove it back.

Anonymous said...

Shove....yeah, this is what I do, too. It's all we can do sometimes, the mindless shove.

"present relations between Britain and France"? Sheesh. That's a new one. I'm out of it sometimes, so what are these tense relations going on? King Henry VIII signing treaties again? Is it 1066? Seriously, you could describe relations between ANY countries that way.

Writer, Rejected said...

Hey, do they ever shove you any acceptances? Also, if you want to shove some of your rejections up on LROD, we'd be happy to have you!

Gloria, Writer Reading said...

We think this book sounds too much like a plagiarized series of our rejection letters. We are not accepting plagiarized manuscripts at this time. Try us again in six months.