Katherine Mankiller

Vanity publishing, rejection, and other gibberings.
September 29, 2004, 10:18 pm
Filed under: selling fiction

Teresa Nielson Hayden has a blog entry about a guy selling his unfinished manuscript on ebay. He includes a letter from a “legit company” offering to publish his novel for only $700. I have no idea if this guy can write or not, but I hope he listens to the people on TNH’s blog who say they’ve emailed him. And I really hope he doesn’t vanity publish; it doesn’t sound like he has $700 to spare.

BTW, articles like this and Slushkiller are why I’m a regular lurker on TNH’s blog.

Speaking of Slushkiller (yes, I know she posted that in February)…

There’s a comment in the Slushkiller thread by Jo Walton: “Submitting a manuscript is like a combination of applying for a lifechanging job and going down on one knee to propose marriage; when it’s rejected after a looooooooooooooooooong wait, I think it’s a natural human impulse to want to lash out at the person rejecting, because otherwise they’re all alone with the fact that they’re not good enough.” I just can’t let myself go there. I can’t. It’s not a lifechanging job or a marriage proposal, it’s just one magazine looking at a story. I think this is why I don’t ever want to quit my day job to write: I don’t want that kind of pressure on my writing. It’s just a story at one market. No one place is the only place that can buy your story/novel/script. There is always another buyer. It’s not final proof that you’re not a real writer, it’s not proof that your story sucks, it just means that what you sent and the editor didn’t click. Or, to quote this post by Max Adams on contests and not making it to the next round,

Well. “The average script” is not very good. You could even, in a black moment, say “the average script” is actually pretty bad. A bad script is going to get cut in the first round. It just will. So anything “average” is out of there right off.

The trick with all this is, advancing means a script has something going for it. But getting cut does not mean the script is bad. It means it got cut.

Scripts get cut for a lot of reasons. Judging is subjective. It is possible in the process of judging 6,000 scripts for a good script to get overlooked or for a script to just hit the wrong reader at the wrong time and if that happens, you are out of there for that round. In a subjective process, that just will happen. Especially when you are dealing with 6,000 scripts in a very short period.

Bottom line, figure, if you advance, that is encouragement, and if you do not, well do not get distraught, it just was not your turn.

For those of you who thought scripts and fiction were completely different markets, well, there are some constants to the writing universe. I try to keep the writing and selling completely separate; I write, and I also have this thing I do where I send stuff I wrote out to markets. The writing is the important, fun part; the selling is just this wacky thing I do.

Comments Off on Vanity publishing, rejection, and other gibberings.

Comments are closed.