Monday, September 07, 2009

Are you suffering Rejection Fatigue? (Take two of these with a glass of wine.)

Adding Scott Jeffrey's "Enlightened Business" blog to our Feed Me sidebar after seeing his post about ignoring the critics. Just a few examples of titanically wrong calls on the part of agents, editors and reviewers...
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
“It does not seem to us that you have been wholly successful in working out an admittedly promising idea.”

And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss
“Too different from the other [books for] juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”

Animal Farm by George Orwell
“It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.”

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
“I’m sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.”

Carrie by Stephen King
“We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.”

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
“I haven’t really the foggiest idea about what the man is trying to say… Apparently the author intends it to be funny – possibly even satire – but it is really not funny on any intellectual level.”

I know you've probably heard these before, but it's important to be reminded every once in a while that opinions are like...well, you know. Everybody has one. And the only one that matters is your own.

9 comments:

Colleen Thompson said...

I try to remember that everyone's favorite book is someone else's wallbanger. Don't believe it? Check out Amazon reviews of your very favorite books in the world.

There is no book for every reader, and it's not only unrealistic but egotistical to imagine yours will be the exception to that rule. Your job is only to keep submitting 'til you find someone representative of the book's true audience.

With any luck, anyway!

Colleen Thompson said...

I try to remember that everyone's favorite book is someone else's wallbanger. Don't believe it? Check out Amazon reviews of your very favorite books in the world.

There is no book for every reader, and it's not only unrealistic but egotistical to imagine yours will be the exception to that rule. Your job is only to keep submitting 'til you find someone representative of the book's true audience.

With any luck, anyway!

Vicky said...

I hadn't read these rejections before - thanks! And yeah, Colleen, I've gotten shocked more than once reading reader reviews on Amazon. Makes me think, "Did we read the same book?"

Elizabeth Pina said...

Excellent list, Colleen, and thanks for the reminder. I'm always gratified when someone is impressed I actually finished a novel, let alone got it published. They feel that way because they have tried to do it themselves. Everyone else shrugs. "That's great. When's the movie coming out?"

Rachel Brady said...

ha! Elizabeth... "When's the movie coming out?" I get that from my dad all the time. Grr.

This was a great post to remind us to keep feedback in perspective.

Very excited to discover your blog today and have added it as a permanent link on mine. Great post.

Colleen Thompson said...

I'd love to take credit for the post, but it was my blog cohort's, Joni Rodgers. Glad you enjoyed, though.

William Simon said...

Perfect reminders, Colleen! I still cling to my personal all time favorite: an executive at United Artists, upon seeing early footage of Sean Connery as James Bond in DR. NO wrote a detailed memo, concluding with "We can do better than [Connery]."

Kind of re-defines how subjective this whole business is...:)

TJ Bennett said...

And of coure, Fred Astair's classic rejection by a studio executive: "Receding hairline. Dances a little."

TJB

DebStover said...

Wow, so my 200,000 word Civil War saga (AKA first manuscript) is in excellent company. Thank goodness no one will ever see it. ;)

Thanks for sharing, Colleen!

~Deb

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