By David David Katzman on April 30th, 2011
Tags: publishing, queries, query, rejection, self-publishing, small-press | Leave a comment »
Thank you again for the opportunity to consider A Greater Monster and for your interest in [PRESS]. I apologize a thousand times for the time it has taken for us to respond to your query. We received more than the usual number of manuscripts during this period, had less than the usual amount of publication slots available, and our team of volunteer readers decreased due to personal problems; therefore, we have been incredibly behind in our reading, and, again, I apologize.
At this moment, we are going to pass on further consideration of your manuscript; your project was among the last few we were holding onto from the open submission period, and that is because it is a great fit for [PRESS]. Our readers praised it for gorgeous graphics, material resistance and interplay with the plot, its questioning of the human as master/center of time, space, reason, and language, and its exquisiteness and brutality at the level of the sentence. Incredible sentences verging on poetry. Existence at the realm of the nano, the infinitesimal, the letter, the typographic shift-. We passed on it because of our current lack of publication slots, but please send us more material, either during our next open submission period or during one of our blind-judged contests. Thank you again, and I hope you find a publisher quickly for this extraordinary work.
The above email arrived in my inbox Friday. What a wonderful rejection! The editor also kindly offered, in a subsequent email, to provide me with a more eloquent promotional quote (such as for the back cover or the interior), when my book is published. And she also recommended a couple presses I could contact and use her name as a reference. However…I’m back to my old conundrum: Is it worth it? What will these small presses do for me that I can’t do for myself? And if I self-publish, I will always maintain the rights to my own writing. Of the three presses she recommended, only one of them seems to have their act together online. And when I check their books on Amazon…only a few reviews for each one. The author still has to hustle for professional reviews, press coverage, distribution (getting it carried), marketing, etc. And the reward is 10% per book of the cover price…as opposed to 40% – 100% depending on whether you sell it directly, online or through a bookstore. If I’m going to work my butt off, shouldn’t it be for myself?
The other big minus, of course, is more waiting. Even if I get lucky quickly, my book would likely not be available until late 2012. Depends on how long their queue is. If I self-publish, I can release the book later this year, hopefully late summer. I’ve had a long enough gestation period; I want this thing out of me!
The biggest plus of finding a publisher, of course is that I get more credibility and reputation being published by someone else. So, theoretically, that means I can get publishers to take a more serious look at future query letters. But is it really worth it?
Right now, I’m leaning toward no.