Accepting Rejecting

I hate rejecting stuff. It’s not fun. It’s upsetting, and I feel bad every time I have to do it. At least when something is poorly written, I feel like I have a good excuse. After all, as much as I want to, I can’t publish everything I’ve been sent.

So, I have to reject stuff, and I have to accept that I have to reject stuff. And in general I have. Then, I get something that I like but still have to reject, and I have to start the whole acceptance process over again. It’s what I’m doing today. I have to reject some pretty good manuscripts not because of their content or writing, but because they are in a part of the market that, after long hard thought and consultation, Children’s Brains Are Yummy Books has decided not to enter for the time being. And normally I would then kick these books over to Blooming Tree for consideration, but BTP has already filled its lists for these types of books for the foreseeable future. I can’t find a place for these good (potentially strong mid-list titles), and so I’m forced to reject.

It breaks my heart.


fusenumber8 said...

Is there any time it doesn't break your heart? Where it fills you with a sense of deep satisfaction that a particularly horrid idea will never see the light of day? I can understand how rough it would be 99% of the time. But surely there's that rare moment where you feel like you've accomplished something by rejecting it. Or is that just wishful thinking?

The Buried Editor said...

It only breaks my heart when I reject the good stuff. The rest make me kind of sad because I know that somewhere I am rejecting someone's "baby." And having recieved rejections and watched others recieve rejections, I know it can be disappointing. So, I've never been satisfied to reject a ms. I've also been fortunate enough to never recieve something as bad as what you are describing. I know that 1% is out there, but I'm glad I haven't seen any yet.

On the other hand, there was an artist who came up to the BTP booth at a conference and informed us that all of our books had ugly illustrations (acutal words) and that we needed to hire this person for our stuff instead. I do know that our art director does take particualr pleasure throwing away her art samples whenever they come in. Yes, it's slightly vindictive, but her art is abstract and we tend to go for a more realistic, classic look.

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about? Are you starting your own press or not? I don't think it is fair to say you are accepting submissions, but then make people wait for a response, if you aren't publishing any time soon.

The Buried Editor said...

I just realize that I was vague in my post. It's a great example of someone knowing exactly what they're writing about without managing to convey what they mean.

I was talking about a segment of the publishing market, specifically fiction picture books, that I'm pretty sure I'm not going to enter. My publishing house has 7 books coming out in 2008. Contracts are out or have been signed. 5 of them are nonfiction picture books, 1 is a fantasy novel, and 1 is a science fiction novel.

So why if I don't plan to accept picture book manuscripts do I still plan to accept picture book submissions? And the answer is simple. I may change my mind. The picture book market is starting to improve, so I may decide I want to enter it. There's also a chance that I'll find that one manuscript that makes me want to do picture books. Blooming Tree Press wasn't seriously considering ever publishing picture books and then we ran across the Little Bunny Kung Fu and it changed our minds. I'm hoping CBAY books finds a manuscript.

And contrary to popular belief, I (and other editors too) don't look at a ms hoping to reject. I did consider several pb manuscripts seriously. It was just after running the numbers that I decided I couldn't afford to publish any of them now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for clarifying.