Thursday, October 23, 2008

Moving Ever Onward

"A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success." ~Bo Bennett

Update on Summer's Song submission to Samhain:

The editor who requested it (after my previous editor of 2 years there left) got back to me in 3 days, which was awfully nice of her. However, she had some concerns about the story and wrote me an incredibly long and detailed email explaining her concerns and making suggestions for improvement. While she said she'd be happy to work with me in revising the story, and would give it another look, the revisions she wants are SO extensive that for now, I think I'm shelving it.

I'm hugely grateful for the time she took, of course, and I may actually revisit the story in a few months. It's interesting, though: some of the things she disliked I could agree with, while others I really had a harder time seeing. I sent her remarks to one of my crit partners who had read the whole story, and while she also agreed in parts, she questioned the editor's assertion that the ending needed to be more emotional. Most of the beta readers who saw it before made similar comments.

So it's interesting: do I rewrite and address this editor's specific concerns? It is, of course, one person's opinion, but she's the person who holds the golden contract, so... Do I rewrite but keep the elements that I (and several readers) think already work? Do I submit it to another publisher? Do I just chalk it up to experience and not rewrite it at all?

Right now it's too fresh to think about, and discouraging, of course. I mean, I know rejection goes hand in hand with writing, no matter how long you've done it, but it's still a little disheartening to know as an established writer you can be turned down at the drop of a hat.

Live and learn, I guess.


Marianne Arkins said...


It's amazing to me how different people can be. After all, how often do we grab a book, read and wonder, "How the HECK did this get published??"

If that editor didn't love it, then maybe you need to look for a new home, because it's really just a matter of opinion, isn't it? I've read it, and Summer is a decent story. So... there are other decent ePresses out there: Black Lyon is one you've mentioned yourself.

Just a thought.

Devon Gray said...

Sorry Allie! I know that is frustrating. You have to go with what you feel is the right thing as far as changes go. I just withdrew a manuscript after a offer of contract because I just didn't like the way the story was going with the requested changes. That's hard. If you get a contract you want to take it. Now that I've withdrawn it, though, I know it was the right decision. The process is awful isn't it? Best of luck with the book and I know you'll find the perfect home for it!


Diane Craver said...

I'd submit Summer's Song to Black Lyon. You might revise some of the things the Samhain editor disliked that you can agree with, but I wouldn't change what you have strong feelings about. It's your book and the characters are real to you and I'd trust your feelings about what definitely can't be changed

NerdSnark said...

I have to agree, change what feels wrong about the story. Because it can just be this story that didn't work for THIS editor.

Or you can always keep the original version, make the changes and see how you feel about the story then.

Best of luck.