Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pride and Publishing

I recently read an exchange of emails between a publisher and a hopeful author. Essentially, the author submitted a manuscript, and the publisher responded with a personal (not automated) "thanks for your submission, but as our website says, we're closed to submissions at this time."

At which point the author completely lost it. He responded in an obscene tirade and threatened to report them to Preditors and Editors if they didn't apologize.


Anyway, this got me thinking.

Rejection is part of the whole "getting published" thing, right? Most of us writers have reconciled ourselves with that fact. We quickly learn how to take rejection if we're truly serious about our craft. We learn that what we may think is the next Great American Novel may be a horrid piece of drivel to an editor. We learn that doors shut in our faces. A lot of doors. We learn that we don't demand that publishers pick up our manuscripts --we beg and grovel and cajole in as professional a manner as possible.

Those of us who understand this learn humility. Prima donnas don't make it into the publishing world. We only make it if we realize the publishing system is anything but author-centric.

This guy who flipped out at rejection? My bet is he isn't gonna get anywhere. Even if his manuscript does see acceptance someplace, I doubt he'd be able to handle the editorial requests. And any criticism of his book (which he's bound to face)? Ha! I wouldn't want to be anywhere near him.

Writers who make it can be rightfully proud of where they've gotten. But without a huge sense of humility, they couldn't have done it at all.

True writers know exactly what humility is.


  1. You speak the truth my friend! I am amazed at the stories you hear of how today's bestselling books have had to overcome numerous rejections. In a way, I almost would feel like I missed a right of passage if I didn't see at least one rejection for my book.

  2. I agree, Dax. Rejection is as much a part of publication as the submission process. If today's literary greats suffered rejection, who are we to think we aren't going to face the same hurdle?