Why Rejections Have Nothing to Do With Your Merits as a Novelist

Last week on The Debutante Ball our topic was the business of writing. I found myself getting nostalgic about my days working in book publishing in New York City. Read on for a little known truth about the biz. And take heart. It’s difficult to get a foot in, true, but at the same time, don’t let rejections convince you that you’re unworthy of a readership. Please — don’t!

My Adventures in Book Publishing, or, the Schlub I Was

111612_1628_TheFutureOf1This week we’re talking about the writing biz. What could be more in the biz than working in New York City at one of the Big 5? This I did, though well before the major players got gobbled up and consolidated into the Big 5.

I’d previously worked in South America in international finance. (Seriously? Yep.) I wore boxy business suits and discovered that I sucked at numbers. By the time I returned to the States I was determined to change careers. I got into the NYU Summer Publishing Institute and landed a job at Warner Books (now Grand Central) and took long elevator rides up into the Time-Warner Building every work day. Then I got a job at Doubleday Books and took long elevator rides up into the Bertelsmann Building in Times Square.

It was all very heady and wondrous and glamorous in a genteel, poverty-stricken way. For example, I used to PLEASE READ ON

2 thoughts on “Why Rejections Have Nothing to Do With Your Merits as a Novelist

  1. It’s sobering to think of all the worthwhile writings that we’ll never know of because they were never published, and never will be.

    Books that have become classics and that have otherwise inspired millions, may never have emerged from the back of dusty desk drawers but for a serendipitous chance.

    Today, though, there’s the metastasising of self-publishing thanks to cyberspace. The floating spirits of long-dead writers who never got read may be straining to be reincarnated!!

    1. Hi Christopher! Thanks for dropping by!

      Small presses are also a boon to all of us who might not fit in the little round holes that traditional publishers like to fill. In fact, I have a friend who writes cozy mysteries. Her proposal for a series centered around an amateur sleuth with a pet gargoyle didn’t find a home in the trad. world because they said it was too “urban fantasy” to be a cozy mystery.

      Really? Did you do a survey? The big guys don’t give readers much credit.

      So a small press snapped her up instead!

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