Last week, I wrote a piece about some of the reasons why a book manuscript may be rejected by editors and agents. Some of you reacted positively, while others greeted the piece with skepticism. This is normal, because in the publishing industry nothing is 100% certain. Until a deal is confirmed and signed, a writer can’t claim to have secured anything. Of course, on the eve of the signing of an agreement, optimism grows, though cautiously, because the mountain is still steep even if you can now see the ridgeline from where you are.
The reality, however, is different for authors who have already branded their names. It’s not because publishers will publish mediocrities. They won’t – after all they have their own names and prestige to safeguard – but they have countless editors who can turn mediocre plots into classic oeuvres. For you as a writer, who are still struggling to be heard, sharpening your skills is the key. Like any game, you need to know the rules, otherwise you’ll never win.
If you do your own research about manuscripts’ submissions and rejections, you will find countless analyses and suggestions. The Adventurous Writer blog has put together 17 reasons manuscripts are rejected by editors and agents . I found this to be extremely useful. You don’t have to agree with everything in it, but this could be a wonderful guide to Bliss land.
Also, Writers’ Digest online has tons of tips for emerging writers.
Note: Ardain Isma is a novelist and editing manager at CSMS Magazine. He heads the Center for Strategic and Multicultural Studies. He also teaches Introduction to Research Studies at Embry Riddle University. To see his books, click here.