Friday, May 27, 2016

Revise and resubmit

 I'm wondering how explicit you are when you send an author a request to revise and resubmit?  Do you always use that exact phrasing or do you switch it up a bit?

I recently received what I thought, at first glance, was an extraordinarily polite rejection.  Generous praise for the writing, setting, etc, but some disappointment with the development of one of the main characters.  It was specific but not editorial-letter-specific. So while Agent Amazing never used the phrase "I'm afraid I'll be passing" or anything as final as that I did take it as such.  It clearly was not an offer of representation, which was the important thing in that moment.

However, when I stopped pouting and read the email again one of the last lines stuck out to me.  "I'd be happy to take a look at any future revision."  It doesn't seem like a clear-cut request to me, more like a casual way to suggest that it wouldn't be offensive to send it again if I felt inclined to.  So, while I get that I wouldn't be bothering Agent Amazing, and while I agree with the feedback and do intend to revise accordingly, I'm not sure how to log this in my spreadsheet.  And I'm not sure how to respond, either.  Do I drop a line and say, "You got it, I'm on it!" or just get to work and then send it all back at the end of the summer with a, "Hey, remember me?"

You read her intentions correctly. If you revise, she's glad to take a look but she's not going to do the heavy lifting of a revision or editorial letter here.

It's leaving the door open (a good thing).  This is the real deal and I'm glad you seem to understand that. (It drives me nutso to hear "I wasn't sure if she meant it!" about this kind of thing.)

You reply with "Thank you for your very helpful suggestions. I do intend to revise along the lines you suggested and I'll be back in touch when those revisions are ready for the light of day." 

How you log this in your spreadsheet is you have a third category: R&R.

I have that category for writers just like you. If I've sent back an email saying something like "you need to tell me what Helena smells like in 1870" or "Chapter two is the biggest splat I've seen since Wile E Coyote met a falling safe" I keep our email conversations in a file labelled R&R. 

Of course, a submission DB is a very personal thing, so you get to organize it any way you want to. I wouldn't begin to think my way is the only way, the right way everyone's chosen method.

Yes, you'll notice that all the manuscripts are numbered.
Yes, you'll notice that some of those R&Rs are long term.
Yes, you'll notice that all my email files are numbered as well.

If you're obsessive compulsive about being organized, a job as a literary agent is like Disneyland: the happiest place on earth. 


Lucie Witt said...

Oh, those labeled and numbered files make me happy. Maybe I should have been a lit agent, though lawyer/adjunct gives me plenty of organizing opportunities.

I used to have a folder labeled "rejections" and I recently changed it to "declined" because it stings a little less. Whatever works!

I keep my own query tracking spreadsheet and use these columns:

Agent name
Notes (this is where I put NORMAN*, reply expected, note if I can query others at agency, and put my check back in or close out date)
Response (form, partial request, etc)
Ultimate Response (one day maybe this will say OFFER)

I suppose I would put a R&R in the response column, though now I am thinking about tweaking my spreadsheet.

*Colin, my sheet really does say Norman!

OP, good luck with your revisions and congrats on the interest and positive response!

InkStainedWench said...

"you need to tell me what Helena smells like in 1870"

Hmm. Is Helena a western city, or a fragrant lady?

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

"Am I not fragrant?" ~ Helena maybe

I am embarrassed to say I did not respond in this manner, or any manner, to my R&R. I made such reparations before responding to this post. And boy, reading that letter again is tickling those synapses again, which is a fantastic thing.

Thank you again, Janet, for the good works you do!

And thanks for the congrats yesterday, everybody! ^^

Robert Ceres said...

Congrats on the R and R. Another thing to consider when responding initially is tol thank the agent for her excellent suggestions and gently note that you would be happy to hear any other comments she might have. I've done this three times and gotten tremondous additional feedback twice. I think that agents are often worried that their comments will be taken the wrong way, so hold back. And I think it probably a good thing to come across as someone eager to improve their writing.

Colin Smith said...

I have taken such responses as a form of R&R. I did get one at one point, which was very exciting. It was followed by a very nice rejection telling me why it still didn't work for them, but still... :)

Janet: I don't see the trash can that says "Colin D. Smith" (I guess it's a bit much of me to think I'd have my own special filing cabinet in your system...)

Lucie: YAY!! One day, Janet will use the term at a conference, and it will become industry standard. A mark of shame. Can't you hear it now:

Nervous Writer: Hello, Ms. Sinsheimer, so pleased to f-f-finally meet you!

Jessica S.: (In her most bright and perky voice) Hello, Nervous Writer! It's a pleasure to meet you too! So, tell me about your novel.

Nervous Writer: Uhh... first, can I ask... (in hushed voice) Are you a NORMAN?

Jessica S: (Look of horror) Why NO! Absolutely not! Have no fear, nervous writer. I couldn't be one of... them!

That's my goal. Well, not specifically with the wonderful Ms. Sinsheimer, but with all agents. The title NORMAN will one day be a term of reproach and dishonor in the publishing world. One day. ONE DAY.... bwahahahahhaaaaa!!!

I need some tea... :)

Colin Smith said...

For the few left out there who don't know, NORMAN = NO Response MeAns No. Apologies to anyone called Norman--it's not personal. But you may want to consider a pseudonym by the time my mission is complete... ;)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Colin: Yes, Norman will become industry standard. I am sure the power of the Reef will make sure it does.

OP- congratulations on the R&R. This is a good thing. Your book will be even more attractive in next round.

I am always pleased with even a little agent feedback. It shows you are at least inside the realm of possibility and promise. Soldier on.

John Davis Frain said...

Two congratulations are in order -- OP for the R&R and Jennifer for yesterday's news of a short story accepted. Fantastic, Jennifer. Hope you'll let us know the magazine.

Janet, if I read your coding correctly (it's not exactly the Zodiac Killer cipher, so hopefully I've hacked the code here), you have an R&R out since some time in 2013. So, do NORMANs exist on the other side of the author-agent fence as well? And how long will you keep that reserved spot in their name before you move it to your "Withdrawn" folder?

Also, if I can be so bold on a Friday to ask unlimited dumb questions, how does one land in your "Prospects" file? Are those writers that catch your eye with a short story or who win a flash fiction contest or post on your blog at 7:11 so you figure they must be lucky people in general?

Good luck, OP, on your next step. I will offer one small piece of unsolicited advice to you: Give your R&R the time it requires. There's no rush (made apparent by "2013" in this post!), so get it in the best shape you can. Good luck to you!

Donnaeve said...


I have to go back and catch up on Jennifer's news.

While I'm doing that...tiny typo here: Disenyland

S.P. Bowers said...

My R&R was worded very similar to opie's. It's very exciting and wonderful to have another chance for an agent to look at it. It's just hard to wait when you send the revised ms back.

Colin Smith said...

John: What would she put in a "Prospects" folder? In my thinking (and I'm sure she posted that picture so she could watch the woodland creatures hyperventilate), unless you've sent her a manuscript, you're not going to be a prospect. I expect she has a "Naughty and Nice" spreadsheet for people who never pay attention to submission rules and contest winners.

Donnaeve said...

Well done, OP. That one sentence would have stuck out to me too, and I'm glad you wrote QOTKU to confirm what your gut likely told you. The main thing, don't waste this opportunity.

Wow, congratulations Jen! You're on a roll!!! Can't wait for you to share pub date!

I didn't get a chance to read all the other comments yesterday, but I did see another sub-header nom from none other than Julie Weathers and I agree! Although I nom'ed John Frain's the other day too...something about an agent and the age of cheese.

Colin Smith said...

Hmmm... my last comment could have used an Oxford comma. I'm sure Janet doesn't have a spreadsheet for people who never pay attention to contest winners... sorry... thinking out loud... ignore me... oh, you were... okay... nevermind... :)

DLM said...

InkStainedWench and Jennifer: hee!

EMG, Janet is no NORMAN, and doesn't have a lot of patience for it, so I don't see her making that an industry standard. Unless my lack of caffeine has me mis-reading, and you meant that she'll make sure non-normanites become standard.

Oh dear, ignore me.

Except for this: happy FR&Riday, everyone, and way to go OP!

Colin Smith said...

Diane: What I mean, and I think what EM meant, is that Janet will make the terminology industry standard. At least, that's what we'd like to see. :)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Diane - I should never comment before coffee. I had to rewrite comment as I replied to wrong person. I am woefully sleep deprived. And I still need caffeine, but it is as Colin said. I meant the term "Norman" to describe those agents and agencies that use silence to reject us woodland creatures. Not Janet, no, never. She is my queen. I would never disparage her. Ever.

I have started movingagents who cite Norman policies to the bottom of my query list. Why invite a no communication situation? A proper agent, like Janet, is certainly able to produce a form letter to at least tell a writer to move on. Anyhow, I like the term Colin invented. I think it should be attached to agents and agencies who have a silence means no policy.

Colin Smith said...

EM: I don't think you meant "proper agents" in the way it might be misconstrued by a certain Shark with an itchy fin on the "Send to Carkoon" button... as much as she dislikes the NORMAN practice, many NORMAN agents are valued colleagues of our beloved Queen (or "the OTHER Queen" to our Commonwealth friends). I'm sure she considers them proper... just errant in this one regard. :)

*refills EM's coffee*

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Oh, thank you, Colin. I do not wish to be sent back to Carkoon. I meant no offense. Between my day job and my rewrite, I am such a very tired woodland creature. I should probably drink my coffee and clam up now.

*Scurries back under day job rock*

Cheryl said...

I suspect the PROSPECTS file is for recipients of Janet's "Thanks but no thanks on this one, but keep me in mind for any future books" response.

DLM said...

Caffeine for all takers, then! I don't drink mine - I eat it (dark Ghirardelli chocolate covered espresso bean candies - mmm), but let's all have a cup or handful.

Ashes said...

I love organization. My critique partners are always in awe of my organization (they call themselves 'pantsers', I call myself 'the plottiest of plotters'.

I write in Scrivener which is conducive to ultra-organization. Chapter folders are numbered, scene files are named, and everything is color-coded by point-of-view character.

Color-coding is like cracking to organizational junkies.

abnormalalien (Jamie A. Elias) said...

Lol, you guys crack me up. Colin, I just figured out yesterday (and was quite proud of myself) what you meant by Norman. Of course, I thought it meant No Response Means A No. Or my personal favorite: No Response Means Ahhh(!) No. Thanks for the clarification. I think I'm gunna start keeping a list of all the crazy abbreviations and code words...I still have a hard time not calling R&R "Read And React" in my head. Which of course makes no sense but is a throwback to my high school history class.

Robert Ceres said...

In reading the comments and re-looking at Janet's post, now I too want to know how people get into mysterious folder 501. Is this like Area 51?

Colin Smith said...

Folder 501

I like it, Robert. That might just become a thing, now. :)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Folder 501- a case for Mulder and Scully no doubt. Some say it doesn't exist. Some say it holds the key to the most promising writers of our times. Some say it contains rare Scotch and Loaner Cats. Folder 501- I want to believe.

Andrea St. Amand said...

Congratulations! I agree with Robert. I got an R&R, jumped up and down, waited hours before I stopped swinging from the chandelier, then when I could think clearly, I responded with a very honest "I am thrilled with this feedback."

I also asked if the agent wouldn't mind if I posed three questions to help my revisions and promised I would take all other questions to folks helping me with editorial work. I received an immediate reply, with even more constructive feedback. As someone else mentioned, I think some agents want to make sure you're not going to be a jerk to work with.

Happy revising!!

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

My dear Opie,
If an agent gives you even a glimmer of hope, you take it. They do not say yes lightly. Give them every opportunity to do so.

Joseph Snoe said...

I really like Robert Ceres' suggestion (at 7:31).
I'm saving that one.

John Davis Frain said...

On the phone pad, 501 spells out JOY.

Okay, that's a bit of a stretch because the "1" is blank, so like Scrabble, you can use the blank for a Y and suddenly 501 -- if indeed it exists -- is yet another reason to celebrate.

Assuming you're in there.

Moreover, 501 is currently in BLUE (arrgghh, pretend that's blue, will ya!) which means the Queen is currently on the hunt for prospects.

Oh, the Friday Encryption is almost as enjoyable as a flash fiction contest. Please, Janet, don't provide the real answer. My mind is wandering to much greener pastures than surely exist.

Julie Weathers said...

Caleb tied his horse and mule outside the Last Chance Hotel. It was one of the few brick buildings in town and had the best food. By God if he didn't want a good steak for breakfast and a pretty girl waiting on him. If there were any. Gold was easy to come by, women weren't, and single ones didn't last long.

It still irked him they had changed the name of the town. Last Chance Gulch was too crass, they said. We need something proper. Tomah! Squashtown! Pumpkintown! Winona and Rochester after Minnesota towns. Finally, the Scot suggested Helena after the Helena township in Minnesota. Then the fight was on. There were enough former Confederates that wanted it pronounced Hel-i-na, while the Scot insisted, Hel-ee-na.

The Rebs won that damned war.

His sister once asked him in a letter what the town smelled like. What a fool question. He had to think about it.

It smelled like pines. They were everywhere, cloaking the mountainsides in deep green velvet down to the gulch where a crude, tumbled block town was taking shape. None of the streets were very straight as they had to go around the claim lines of the miners.

Konrad Kohrs had given up mining and was making his fortune furnishing beef to hungry miners. So, it smelled like beef and butchering at the edge of town. A walk past Sally's cribs with the big windows where you could watch her girls would near get your drunk on whisky or opium wafting out the open doors and you got used to the cheap perfume they drenched themselves in to kill part of the stink of too many men in too little time. He didn't tell his sister about Sally's. It smelled like miners who hadn't bathed in weeks. God help him he needed a good bath himself. Right now, it smelled like fresh baked bread coming from the hotel kitchen, but most of all, Helena smelled like money.

Colin Smith said...

John: But that means 501 could just as easily spell JOE. Maybe Joe Snoe is Janet's secret prospect...? :)

Donnaeve said...

OT, but sort of in the vein of NORMANs ya'll are discussing: I keep thinking about this, then forgetting to bring it up. The other day, Lucie Witt told of a dream where she received a rejection and the agent replied "no."

Several here, if I recollect right, commented it would be wonderful to get an actual response, i.e. elevating it from NORMAN to definitive answer, and I believe some also said they'd cherish that actual response. Cherish might not be exactly right, but basically, it seemed like the idea of the agent taking the "time" to respond would give some heart palpitations.

*insert sound of needle dragging across vinyl*

I beg to disagree. :) I wouldn't want an agent to reply with a simple "no." Imagine getting the email. Imagine your heart rate. Then you open it and it says...No.

*insert crying* *insert wretching* *insert contemplations of drinking everything in sight at a bar*

Aside from getting your hopes up when you get an OMG email from the AGENT (!!!) sending only a "no" is like giving a waitress a penny for a tip. She knows what you thought of her waitressing skills.

That was what I thought when I read the comments that day. Back to your regularly scheduled wittiness.

Oh, 501.Prospects - I bet some in that folder lurk here at The Reef. I'd bet $ on it.

Donnaeve said...

Julie!!! While I was typing my trash, you were sending us beautiful, descriptive sentences. That reads like part of a novel - something you might be working on??? If you tell me that came to you off the top of your head, I'm in AWE.

Julie Weathers said...

I'm not even going to look at the previous post given I am commenting pre coffee. What was I thinking. Helena, for one thing, is the capital of Montana, but I'm sure there were also many lady Helena's in 1870.

1. Congratulations to the person with the R&R. Definitely, you've been invited to resubmit. Send a polite, brief thank you and acknowledge you will be revising.

2. Don't rush it. The agent doesn't expect a revision in ten days. This isn't a pinata, you don't get multiple whacks at it normally. Unless this is something the agent really feels strongly about, they are not going to keep going back and forth with you. I've had some that do, but they felt strongly about me.

3. As others have said, if you don't have a good spreadsheet of some sort, set one up so you can track submissions. Mine has a place for comments so even if there is a rejection I can note if they asked me to send new work or they genuinely commented on the writing. Please note, agents often times try to couch rejection letters diplomatically so it sounds like they really like your writing, but it's a form letter that goes to everyone.

On the next project, you have an idea of which agents responded well to your style perhaps.


I need to crack open my scrivener and learn to use it apparently.

I'm writing Rain Crow and bits of Cowgirls Wanted in chunks. Not much on the latter, don't get excited. For whatever reason, the story is coming to me in scenes and it's kind of driving me nuts. It's started falling into place now where I have an idea of where it's going, but I keep wanting to go back to the beginning and smooth that out so it reads like a real book before going on.

Organizing random bits and pieces when you don't know how the puzzle fits together yet has been interesting.

I haven't been organized since I left the south, but I'm working on it. I think being in Yankee land has affected my brain. No offense to my northern friends.

Oddly enough, I was born in Montana, but when I got to Texas, my soul sighed and said, "I'm home."

SiSi said...

Congrats to Jennifer for yesterday's news! And OP for getting a casually worded R&R!

Besides Janet's excellent advice, I love the questions, answers, advice (and general hilarity) of the comments. Most of y'all are so far ahead of me in the process that I'm sure I'll be way smarter than the average bear when I'm ready to query. (That's the hope I'm clinging to at any rate.)

Joseph Snoe said...

Beautiful description of Helena, Julie.

A bit of trivia for you. Even though the "Rebs" won the pronunciation war in Montana to call it Hel-i-na, the Scots (or Scotch-Irish?) must have won the war in Alabama since the town up the road here is pronounced Hel-ee-nah.

Researching some, Helena (Alabama) was named after a woman named Helen. Logically, then, it should be pronounced the same as the Montana Helena; but it's Alabama, and it's not.

Bo Bice, Vonetta Flowers and Rebecca Luker are from Helena, Alabama.(population under 17,000)

Lennon Faris said...

I couldn't help but also notice how MANY files there must be, before we get to the ones that encompass a literary agent's work. What else can you possibly squeeze into your day, Janet. I feel like you must be a secret agent with an army under you? Oh, right, QOTKU. Silly me.

Congrats to the OP. Good luck with revisions :)

Jennifer Donohue - congratulations!

Joseph Snoe said...


501 is probably just a reminder what type of jeans Janet Reid prefers.

Julie Weathers said...


The pronunciation was after Helena, Arkansas according to legend if I remember correctly. I've been gone from Montana for a long time.

Variations abound like the pronunciation of Regina, which drives my former editor nuts. When she was in Montana and Canada she'd often hear Canadian news and wonder why they talked about vaginas so much. It finally sank in it was Regina and the name of a city.

FWIW, it drives Montanans nuts to have reporters call Helena Heleena. It's the capital of the state. It wouldn't be hard to find someone who knows how to pronounce it. God help them if someone out of state has to do a story on Wibaux.

Anyway, I've steered the post off topic long enough. Sorry.

Janet Reid said...

Holy Helvetica on a pogo stick, Julie M. Weathers, quit reading this damn blog and GET BACK TO WRITING MY DAMN COWGIRLS BOOK.

That little Helena lagniappe was awesome.

And it's Helen-uh when you're in Montana.

Maybe we need a flash fiction contest with a question rather than prompts?

Panda in Chief said...

I love organizing stuff. Even though in my writing, I am a confirmed "pantser", in all else I am a relentless organizer. I live to create spreadsheets. Sometimes I even look at them after I make them and fill them up.

Congrats to today's OP who gets another shot at getting this manuscript accepted. That's exciting, to say the least.

I would still rather have a succinct "no" than be NORMANed. I hate not knowing more than I hate being rejected.

OT. There is a cursed woodpecker using my metal roof as a communication system, to let all the girls in town know he is available. It sounds like a jackhammer on my roof. Some days I am not a fan of nature.

And in reply to Colin's punny comment yesterday, what's wrong with pandaing? Every one loves pandas.

Colin Smith said...

I guess we all know who's in Folder 501. Like there was really any question. As the lady said, Julie, write that goshdarned novel! ;)

Julie Weathers said...

Bah, I knew I shouldn't have gone back and reread that post or at least written post coffee. Gads at the mistakes. Conrad, not Konrad for one and and I probably spelled his last name wrong. Yes, it's Helen-uh. I know that. I love Helena.

It's one of those old, historic towns that renews my spirit.

The streets were literally paved with gold as it was impossible to find rock that didn't have gold in it.

Now, back to work.

And thank you.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Oh, yes please, we should ABSOLUTELY have a contest where the prompt is a question! I love that kind of a prompt and torment my writing group with them at least once a week.

One of the most fruitful ones, that I've used a couple of times across the years, has been "What's on the radio?" My first answer to that became the opening scene for my exorcist bikers novel.

Colin Smith said...

A question prompt writing contest? 8-O Well that would mix things up a bit... not that I don't enjoy the word prompts, but I know you've been trying to think up more creative ways to torment us, Djanet. That would be one. :)

BJ Muntain said...

Ah yes. Regina, Saskatchewan. The City that Rhymes with Fun!

Although I never understood what was so funny about angina... Anyway...

I got into a very serious argument (well, he was serious - and drunk. I thought it was funny) with a fellow from New York at a wedding in North Dakota. He insisted the city was 'Regeena', because that was his cousin's name. I resisted telling him that the city wasn't named after his cousin. After all, he was so serious (and drunk.) Also, he had a Bronx accent, and it was so cool to listen to, so I just let him talk. You don't hear that much in Regina.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this was timely, as I just received my first R&R - including an editorial letter - and the agent is interested in hearing what I think about the suggestions. All of this is very positive, though at times it feels like Zeno's Paradox For Writers. (Partial request! Full request! R&R! Almost there, for the 18th time!)

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on where agents draw the line between 'I must offer representation this moment' and 'I will take the time to make thoughtful, extensive comments and will carefully consider a revision'. Is it the extent of the revisions, i.e. 'restructure the entire first third of the novel' versus 'run spellcheck'? It does seem as if it would be unfair to the writer to offer representation and THEN say, 'I heart your book but want you to change all the things, you okay with that?' but surely almost all offers would involve some kind of revision?

Claudette Hoffmann said...

Hurrah to Jennifer for yesterday's achievement and OP for the R&R - the stuff beginner's dreams are made of.

Imagining what getting R&Rs might be like, how do you keep track of all the different versions of the ms that are generated by different agent requested revisions? And when or how do you turn all that into one master revision?

A very restful and peaceful weekend to all.

Claudette Hoffmann said...

And congrats to tsrosenberg as well!

Panda in Chief said...

Claudette, I'm guessing that every author has their own way to keep track of manuscript revisions. As I went through each set of revisions while I was in the SCBWI mentor program, I would start with the previous document and do a "save as" with a new number. So the first MS version had no number, the second one was "Version 2" and the date, and so on. I know some people track revisions in a single document, but that would make me crazy. Then each time I finished a revision, I save it as a pdf and sent it off to my mentor (now agent) then I can start a new one with the next round of revisions.
When he sent me back the pdf with notes, I renamed it to indicate it is the one with notes from agent.
I need to be able to look at both versions at the same time, so one of those programs that tracks changes in the same document wouldn't work for me, unless you could look at both versions simultaneously. I'm way to old to remember subtle diffenences for more than say, .002 seconds.

This way, I have all versions of the manuscript and can go back to look at any of them at any time.

Colin Smith said...

Claudette: I keep every revision, and save them by a number system as follows:

1.0: First draft. Each subsequent revision of this draft increments (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.) until it's ready for my First Reader (my wife).
2.0: First Reader draft. Her revisions and subsequent tweaks I make become 2.1. 2.2, 2.3, etc. This then becomes
3.0: Beta Reader version. These create new versions for each round of beta reader changes (3.1, 3.2, 3.3, etc.), culminating in a final revision, which becomes
4.0: The Final Draft. I save this to a separate folder, along with other submission materials (query template, synopses, 1st 5 pages, 1st 50 pages, etc.). This makes it easy to make sure I send the correct version of everything to satisfy each agent's submission guidelines.

I wonder if I'll be this organized after publication, given the fact that I'll more likely be working to deadlines. Indeed, I wonder how differently Gary Corby approaches Novel #8 as opposed to THE PERICLES COMMISSION? Did the imposition of publisher deadlines, etc. change his revision methodology, assuming he had one to begin with?

Anyway, that's what's work for me so far. :)

Colin Smith said...

Arggh!! That's what works for me so far! :)

Steve Stubbs said...

It is very easy to tell if a R&R request is the real deal instead of a fake cake. If the agent does not bother to put your name in the form letter, you’re toast. Thus if a rejection starts with, “To Whom It Might Concern, Your work sucks and your email address has been blocked, Revise and Resend,” it is likely the agent does not think you are a new Stephenie Meyers.

Alternatively, if the form letter still has the placeholder in it and they did not bother to type your name (“Dear [Enter Querier Name Here], Your book is great, and I am sure my worst enemies in the biz would love to consider it. Revise and Piss Off (RAPO), but don’t resend to me.”), you’re probably not getting nominated for the Man Booker this year.

What gets me is that authors take themselves so seriously. In a business in which you are likely to get a letter that says, “Dear Murgatroyd, your memoir VERY MUSCULAR APPENDAGE, THE AUTOBIOGRALY OF MY LEFT FOOT did not sell quite 500,000 copies in hard cover, so we don’t want to hear from you ever again, and so ha!” you have to do the very best you can but not have much invested in the outcome. Nobody owes anybody anything. You have to be prepared to take a crapshoot without actually hitting any crap. And believe me, there is plenty of crap out there.

Anonymous said...

OP, congrats on the oh-so-subtle R&R. As others have said, take your time. Good luck!

And the same to you on your R&R, tsrosenberg.

Jennifer, I missed it yesterday-- congrats to you as well, and let us know when/where we can read it.

Lots of good news vibes around here lately.

As long as we're speculating, I think Folder 501 contains cat/dog/horse/coyote pics for use on the blog. Then again, I'm convinced Folder 502 is pics of mountain vacations and Folder 504 is a sampling of quiet introspective musings.

Claudette Hoffmann said...

Panda & Colin - That is so very helpful!! I'm already drowning in the revisions to 'The Work That Will Be Submitted This Fall' and glad to have system models to help tame that piece before (fingers crossed) some positive helpful comment zips across the Internet.

Good time off this weekend to you both : )

AJ Blythe said...

Colin, Freudian slip? And thanks for the definition of Norman - I had no idea.

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Holy moly Julie, what a way to characterize a place. When are we going to be graced with one of your books.

Congratulations Jennifer.

Congratulations Je

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks, Claudette and kdjames!

It's helpful to remind myself that an R&R is a good thing, not a "you have fallen short of the mark YET AGAIN" thing.

Delaney said...

Numbered files within files. Wow. I don't spend enough time getting and staying organized. I also dislike putting away clean dishes and clean clothes. The last job I left, I sorted files for two days and then just tossed the rest without looking at them. Is there such a thing as aversion therapy for non-neatniks? Cuz I need to sign up when I get a minute.