Monday, September 18, 2006

Form Rejections

With success comes change.

And one of those changes saddens me just a little. For years, BookEnds prided itself on writing personal or semi-personal rejection letters. That meant including the author’s name and title and trying to give some real reason why we were turning the material down. While some of those reasons may have sounded “form” to you, they were truly how we felt. Maybe we really weren’t inspired, or didn’t feel your book was different enough. It is also possible your platform wasn’t strong enough or your hook big enough. Nowadays, though, we have been forced to use, more frequently than ever, the dreaded “dear author” letter.

I hate them, I really do, but as has been pointed out to me over and over again, time is money, and why am I wasting my money writing letters to people whose work really will never fit for me? Whenever I feel an author is close or I like something about the work, or the person, I will still make the effort to personalize the letter. Unfortunately, one out of every fifty letters or so is a far cry from every fifty.

So I apologize. I apologize to all the writers who work so hard and submit so carefully only to get a very cold “dear author” letter. I wish there was a way for all agents to have the time to give editorial feedback and help, but sadly there isn’t. That would then be an editorial service and, since I need to make money somehow, I would have to charge for that.

—Jessica

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