Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Son of Just Tell the Story

A friend of mine, a very capable and prolific author, just sent me an e-mail that she had been turned down by XYZ Publishing (not their real name) because the book she sent them "was not a break out book." Now Donald Maass wrote an entire BOOK about break out novels, and I would guess that 90% of what's submitted out there is not "break out" material. I venture to say that in these markets, unless you can guarantee mega-sales because of your NYT bestseller/high profile name, don't bother to send them anything. In the meantime, the rest of us just keep slogging away trying to tell the story...

1 comment:

Janny said...

The definition of a breakout book, of course, must be long and involved since Donald Maass has seen fit to spend a whole book telling us about it. (A whole book we should of course buy, after which we should of course submit to him and hire him as our agent. Not too shabby a marketing ploy!) That notwithstanding, it's worth a phone call to the editor in question to ask them what they consider a "breakout book" and why they thought this author, in particular, should be writing and sending them one. A phone call to an editor with a polite question or two never hurts; on the other hand, if you want to have information you can actually keep and USE, said author might think in terms of writing a letter with an SASE instead. Many, many editors are very helpful and forthcoming about what they wanted to see, and didn't--AND what they saw and liked. But ya gotta ask. Not rant, not rave, not tear hair out--that comes later. :-) First, ask the questions. And if you don't get answers that seem helpful, keep in mind that buying manuscripts is much like shopping for clothes or anything may not know exactly what it is you want until you see it, the neon sign cranks down from above, and you realize you simply cannot live without it. :-)

My two and a half dollars,