Saturday, August 1, 2009

Headache back, plus book rejected

I woke up this morning about six am. The cat was crying for her nom-nom's. I fed her, watered her, cleaned out her box. I scritched her behind her ears, rubbed her backbone down to the tail, and gave her a kiss on top of her head. Then i took some ice tea out of the fridge and took my morning medicine. 600 mg of lithium, and 60 mg of Cymbalta. I took the glass of ice tea over to the computer, read a few emails, replied, and read a blog which made me cry, and responded to that. By that time, the meds were kicking in. My head was pounding, and I could barely make it to the bathroom in time to vomit all the tea I had just drank.

i went back to bed, put a cold compress over my forehead and eyes, put the radio on softly, and fell asleep. A couple hours later I hear the doorbell ring. it's about 9: 30. Big Fed-EX truck by my door. I open up door a crack, I am still in my lavender nightgown, and sign for a package. My heart sinks. I know what it is.

It's my two manuscripts I sent to the boyfriend/fiance of a relative who works for a major magazine. i wanted to get an honest opinion. Are they sell=able.

The note was kind, considering the circumstances. The first book, about a bipolar woman, was good and almost publishable, but people aren't interested in reading that type of book right now, with the book market in shambles.

The other one on Jack The Ripper was excellent, but very dark, and extremely graphic. You might want to lighten it up. (I m sorry, but the murder of Mary Kelly is GROSS).

Ok. Try again. Or maybe, i can re write the first book, the bipolar one, and make her a Vampire. Hell, all the Twilight fans would buy it!

For a blue Saturday, i leave you with a funny picture my Godmother emailed me yesterday. Enjoy!

How you know you are taking the Swine Flu too seriously....


Wendy said...

Wait a minute, those weren't book rejects, those were opinions - and good ones too. Keep at it, a bipolar vampire?? Sounds interesting! Susan, you're going to get thousands of rejects before the one acceptance - and then there is the "publish it yourself" way to go - the new bookseller! I'd take the honest opinions and make them work for you. I'm very impressed - two books almost there. I still can't get but a few words down!

Wendy said...

A quote I just read - has nothing to do with anything, but thought you needed it.
By Bertrand Russell - "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

susan said...

Hi Wendy, I don't feel bad, really..... I don't. I know they were opinions and i would rather they come from someone i know and respect than a stranger. it's just tough......

Only a manic could write two books at the same time- but in theory, i have been working on one since 02, and the other one since 06.

Wendy said...

I've been working on mine since 1996 - I sent it to you in an email one time - did you read it?? Oh shit, well, it wasn't going anywhere any way.... LOL

Beth said...

I'm proud of you for having the b*lls to put your books out there for scrutiny. He didn't say they sucked, did he? It was just that's not what he's looking for right now. Keep on shopping them!

susan said...

Wendy, I am sure I read it, my computer is dying so I might have lost the file.

Beth- I am OK. The economy will get better, then people will buy books again and i can shop them around......

Ana said...

I agree with Wendy and I also would like to add that I'm not sure if opinions of people we know are the best way to start.
People read with the author's life at their heads.
I know writers who work on two books at the same time.

Bitter Animator said...

Wendy is right, those aren't rejections! But I know what you're feeling. I have had countless rejection letters from publishers in the past. My last submission came back with not one that wasn't a stock letter. Not one. One was even a rejection card. No kidding - a 'sorry we're rejecting your work' card, without even putting my name on it.

It's a kick in the crotch. I know how you feel here.

But it also sounds like there's some pretty positive feedback here too. That is worth a lot.

Something perhaps to think about that I have only just really figured out in over 10 years of being in my own creative business. Actually I'm sure you know this - it should be common sense but sometimes we needed to be reminded of the obvious. And as obvious as it sounds, it wasn't actually obvious to me. Here it is - people know jack shit.

To expand, if someone rejects your work, it means that they just aren't buying what you're selling right now. And we all know that literary history is littered with people who ended up looking like tits for rejecting a work that went on to sell millions.

They take a guess based on their own opinions. Many people present those guesses as fact - those people are full of crap.

To give you an example, I was writing on a children's show a few years back. There was a distribution partner that came on board and their creative editor went through all of my scripts with notes. They weren't too bad, except one one script. The note came back that the script should be dropped because it's nothing. It's not even a story. That's exactly what it said.

Through totally unrelated events, that distribution partner ended up dropping off the project and a new one came on.

And, of course, they too submitted their notes. And in their notes was an eye-opener. That script, the one that wasn't even a story, was said to be their favourite and the one to use as the template of the whole show.

To this day, I don't know exactly who was right there.

But I do know this - they both presented their opinion as fact and that there was such a gulf of difference taught me that they had no right to do so.

Had I listened to that first person and not even presented the script to the second distributor, who knows what opportunity I would have missed?

People know jack shit.

Another danger here comes in the feedback. As I said, and as I'm sure you know, it comes down to whether they are buying what you are selling. A problem occurs when they have to explaion why. Often, it simply doesn't feel right to them. It's just not what they're looking for.

But they feel they need to give you more than that. So... they just make up reasons. For no other reason than they think they need to give you more.

That does not mean that if you fixed everything on their list that they would like it any better. So be careful what you take on board. If the feedback really strikes a chord with you and it opens your eyes, then great. Go with it. But, if it doesn't after you've let it sit for a while, don't react to it because you think you have to.

Ah, I'm telling you stuff you already know. Maybe I'm typing this more for my own benefit...

Anyway, keep at it. That acceptance is out there. for you. I hope you keep looking.

Red Pill Junkie said...

Wasn't the first manuscript of Harry Potter rejected the first time, as well?

Something to think about, along with the good comments posted above.

susan said...

@Ana, thank you for knowing other writers who have written 2 books at the same time. i get stuck on one- which is fiction, the I go to the one who is non fiction.

@Bitter, when I was in my mid twenties and sending out at least one manuscript and story a week, i had a shoe box full of rejections under my bed. Somehow it made me stronger, and made me write all the harder. It's just taken years to get back to where iwas- and i am still not there, thank you very much ECT.

That's how i feel now, it didn't destroy me, so it will make me stronger, and i will just want to be published more. Even if it's just a matter of putting it out on here so 5 people can enjoy it. That should be enough.

susan said...

@RPJ- a lot of manuscripts are rejected and then get picked up at other publishing houses and do well. That even happened to my ex!

sisyphusgal said...

You should be commended for even writing one book, let alone two. Words do not come easy to me anymore, so I am always impressed by the accomplishments of others.

grisom said...

You might want to "lighten up" a book about Jack the Ripper? Pffft. Shop it around, I for one already want to read it. :)

susan said...

Grisom- I am honored. It's very good, the person I picked for JtR hasn't been a usual suspect, and i have spent countless hours talking to Ripperologists and ex Scotland Yard detectives, so I know my theory is as plausible as anyone's.

The problem with telling JtR is the women murdered were all alcoholics, and prostitutes. The living conditions in White Chapel were horrible and I don't see that addressed inn the popular movies and what not.

thank you for finding my blog. You have a nice one too!

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