Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Second Chance?

My friend Mary posted a question on the last blog - will these publishers consider a re-read if I re-write?  The answer is dependent on the publisher, and the editor.  Most publishers that we're targeting have multiple middle grade editors, so we'll try those again.  But in terms of the same editors, that depends on how the agent handles the rejection, what the rejection is about, and the relationship the agent has with the editor.

Take Scholastic for example:  after the initial rejection, which I shared the other day, Caitlin wrote this back to her:

"To be honest, I'm hearing the same thing from other editors about the dual first person narrators.  If Kevin were able to rewrite the book in a more traditional style--maybe close third person narration--would you be interested in seeing it again?

If not, please don't hesitate to tell me.  I know you must have a desk (or e-reader these days) full of manuscripts."

Now, I'm not entirely sure of the relationship between Caitlin and this editor, so I don't know if they're best buds, or just barely know each other, but here's what the editor responded back:

"If the author revises, I’d be happy to have a quick look, though we’re not really looking to publish a series (so I might not be the right editor)."

Note the caveat:  they're not really looking to publish a series.  That tells me that the initial read didn't grab her to the extent that she's willing to really consider it, she's just being polite.  Otherwise, the publishing a series would've come out in the first rejection.  Also notice that she said that they're not looking to publish a series, so she's not sure she's the right editor, as opposed to the right publisher.  Lots of nuances that make me think, "ok, probably not gonna happen there."  Nevertheless, she gave Caitlin the opportunity, so we'll probably try her again once I've rewritten it.

Now when Egmont rejected, I asked the same question:  would she resubmit, and here's her response:

"...In Egmont's case I think I would go to a different editor there who hadn't seen the book before."

No reason why, but probably because she knows the editor too well and doesn't want to pester her.  I'll post the letter about Egmont later.  It could also be that she wanted someone who hadn't been tainted from the first reading trying to get past that with a re-read.  Someone fresh off the dock will have an unbiased view.

In any case, you can see that it's very hit or miss, and a very fine line to walk - which is why it's so important to get an agent.  Going direct is black or white - they either like you or they don't.  An agent has a relationship that can be utilized to allow re-submissions, or to get more info regarding their reasons for passing, etc.  Very helpful.

More to come.  Halfway through the revision now, but still haven't heard from Caitlin after I sent her the first three chapters.  Was I on the mark?  Was the new third person narrative working?  Inquiring minds wanna know!

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