word craft



rejectedI have pub­lished a lot of books. I have lots of read­ers. I have won a lot of awards. But I have nev­er sent in a new book—as I have just done—to an edi­tor with­out feel­ing ner­vous, and wor­ried that it might be reject­ed. And I have been rejected.

Once upon a time I sub­mit­ted a book. The edi­tor called and said the book was no good. “Is there any­thing that might be sal­vaged?” I asked. The edi­tor thought for a moment and said, “You could keep the title.” 

Then there was the time the book was accept­ed. Or so I thought. A day lat­er the edi­tor called and said “I changed my mind. I don’t want it. You bul­lied me into tak­ing it.” 

Then there was a book that was reject­ed because, “It’s too scary.  It will do your rep­u­ta­tion no good.” 

I sup­pose it’s also a rejec­tion when the edi­tor says, “I need to think about it,” and nev­er calls again. Anoth­er line. “What’s the mat­ter with it?” I asked. “Not enough salt,” said the editor.

It has been report­ed that Charles Dick­ens, in his role as an edi­tor, reject­ed a nov­el titled, Pearls on a String. His rejec­tion let­ter (in its entire­ty) said, “Too much string. Not enough pearls.” That wasn’t my book, I’m glad to say.

Any­way, here I am wait­ing to learn my new book’s fate. Stay tuned.

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