I 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.