Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Don Donovan offers some advice to rejected authors

When an author’s manuscript is rejected by a publisher it is natural for the author to believe that the book was not good enough. That can induce failure of confidence leading to complete de-motivation. When I submitted the MS of my crime novel 'The Wastings' to the Auckland branch of a large international publisher I received this reply:

‘…It is clever and well written but it doesn’t quite engage the reader…this manuscript is not for us…(Name withheld) Managing Editor’

Another publisher took up The Wastings and it was subsequently published. A short time later I received a letter from Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse stories:

‘Dear Don,

A very brief line to say how much (yes!) I enjoyed and admired The Wastings. So did my wife. So did my daughter. A lovely idea & a beautifully written work. You’ve made a splendid debut in crime fiction. More please! Good luck with your opus secundum.

Colin Dexter’

I much prefer Colin Dexter’s opinion to the unnamed managing editor's!

My message to all rejected authors is: Believe in yourself. Don’t lose heart. Even professional editors get it wrong. Mark Twain and J.K.Rowling, no strangers to rejection, could attest to that fact.

In the aftermath I did write an opus secundum which the publisher of 'The Wastings' had contracted to publish. He broke the contract. I didn't sue him because I knew he had no money (that's why he broke the contract). So I published it myself. It was called 'Second Bite'.
Don Donovan. Writer & Illustrator.

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