do and don't

Don’t respond to rejections

When rejected, some authors email back to disagree. (Oddly–or perhaps not–all are men.) Usually they leave it at, “You’re missing an opportunity.”

Sometimes they want to debate.

In my rejections, I give one thing the book did well and one thing that caused me to reject it. It takes me twice as long to write those rejections, but it helps authors. Good writers want to improve.

Arguers don’t believe their book needs improvement. Thus they respond to my comments with: “I know it appears that way, but here are things about my book you didn’t know.”

Or simply, “You’re wrong.”

Firstly, elements essential to understanding the book should be in the query. If you must email an explanation for the book to make sense, something is wrong in the query or the novel.

Furthermore, you’re arguing with industry experts. If they say 250k is too long for a debut, or vampires and werewolves aren’t selling, it’s true. Arguing doesn’t change industry trends, acquisition editors’ expectations, or what readers read.

It just looks bad.


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