STATUS: The only problem with doing a lot of deals is doing all the time-consuming contracts. Small price to pay really.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? HAPPY TOGETHER by The Turtles
I know I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. No matter how good a manuscript, no matter how many editors attend the auction, no matter how much the project went for in the end, there will always be at least one editor who passed on the novel.
For fun, I went back into Ally Carter’s submission folder. In case you’ve been living under a rock, one or both of Ally’s Gallagher Girl books have been on the New York Times Bestseller list for many many weeks.
She received no less than 5 rejections. Now the actual content of those letters isn’t mine to share but I can give you a general idea of why those houses passed. Two said that they thought the spy school idea had been done and it wasn’t fresh enough. Two other houses passed because they were afraid it was too similar to other books on their list (certainly a valid concern but when I look at those titles, they have never appeared on the NYT list). Okay, I probably shouldn’t have rubbed it in there.
The last house thought it should be grittier and was disappointed that it wasn’t more so.
In the end, two houses made pre-empts. One of which we accepted.
So I know there is one very sad editor out there who couldn’t convince her publisher to go higher in that pre-emptive offer and then there is Ally’s editor at Hyperion who is very glad she came in strong and now has the sales figures to validate her gamble.
Keep that in mind if you are currently on submission. I imagine that JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer also have a letter or two that might make them chuckle now.