Monday, March 22, 2010

Are We On a First Name Basis?

Here's a real heartbreaker that came today in this morning's email:

"Dear [First Name of Writer]: 
    Thank you for the opportunity to consider your manuscript for publication by ChiZine Publications. We enjoyed reading your novel, but, after careful consideration, we regretfully advise that we are unable to accept it for publication.
    This is one of the saddest rejection letters I’ve had to write because I really enjoyed your novel. I thought it was funny, engaging, and well written. I don’t even have any substantive criticism to give you because, yeah, it works. I just don’t think it fits with the profile of the material we’re trying to publish right now. It’s not you, it’s us. I do hope this finds a print publisher because I’d like to read the final version.
    Your interest in our press is genuinely appreciated, and we wish you the best for your ongoing writing endeavours.
                                                Sincerely, Helen Marshall

It really is them, isn't it? Oh, Helen, Helen, Helen: What a sad, sad world this is.


K.Hinny said...

See, there was a lot of good stuff in that rejection letter. Good feedback and everything, I always hear that every story has a right home, this place just wasn't for the writer. But it's that good and they'll remember him/her for next time.

Anonymous said...

No kidding, sad is right. And strange. What are you supposed to take from this? It makes no sense. She doesn't even sound totally sure about the only reason she's able to give: "I just don't think it fits..." Really? You don't think so? But maybe it could, right? If you... um, decided it should?

I guess at least it's another definite presale for when a publisher finally sees sense and grabs your novel enthusiastically. And they will, soon, I can feel it as sure as the breeze blowing through the blossoming Appel trees....

Chazz said...

"the profile of the material"? Hm. I'm unfamiliar with this publisher. Do they have a brand as Harlequin does?

When I worked at Harlequin I rejected a lot of manuscripts for being stupid, recommended one from the slush, encountered one near miss (was good, went sour) and one which was written well but had mistaken the Big H for a hardcore porn purveyor instead of a purveyor. Thing is, publishers don't have brands generally, so if it's saleable, it's saleable. What about all that stuff about publishing is a business first?

Oh, for God's sake, I'm ranting again.

NM said...

ChiZine is a small press that concentrates on horror and dark fantasy.

Anonymous said...

Even without NM spelling it out above, I think it's obvious this is a small press rejection letter. A lot of small presses cultivate a certain image, publish work that is similar in a way. That doesn't mean the editors of the press can't appreciate something outside their presses limits, but that it just isn't right for that press (basically what Helen Marshall says here).

My word verification is "unmentel". I wonder if that's some sort of sign.

Mz M. said...

"It's not you, it's us."

Wow, how about "Let's just be friends."