the book doctor: the rejection blues




Why have the publishers rejected your manuscript?

Your book is great, but they have just published a work on the same subject and don’t want another so similar.

The publishers are not accepting any more manuscripts this year.

You sent them a sexy romp and they only publish sweet teen romances.

They publish science fiction and you sent them a non-fiction manuscript on rocket science.

Your book is great—350,000 words great—and they don’t like to gamble on new writers with huge manuscripts.

Your work is great—probably—but it needs to be edited down to remove lots of unnecessary stuff.

The publishers asked if you would make a few changes and you replied that it would offend your artistic integrity to alter a thing.

Your manuscript was so tatty and badly printed that they didn’t take you seriously.

Your story is great—probably—but there were so many typos that the publishers gave up.

You sent in a hand-written manuscript.

You made an on-line submission but they only accept submissions through snail mail.

You sent in the 27th vampire story they had seen that month.

You sent them the first draft and explained you would do more work on it if they accepted it.

You sent your story to the queen, who said kind things about it, but somehow the publishers didn't care.

The book is pretty darned good, but they are not taking on any more new writers this year.

The publishers have revised their lists and your book no longer fits.

You sent it to a publisher who only deals through agents.

You offered them a book on the Olympics three weeks before the Games began.

You offered them a book on the Olympics with photos you had downloaded from the web.

You offered them a book you had already had printed and bound.

You offered them a children’s story and insisted they keep the pictures your brilliantly talented six-year-old drew for it.

Your work is a scathing condemnation of the legal/ hospital/ social/ post office system based on your personal experiences, and the publishers can't see how it applies to anyone else but you.

You have an autobiography that is beautiful, insightful and full of pathos and humour; but nobody knows who you are.

You sent the publisher three short poems, not enough for a book.

You found an old adventure story you wrote fifty years ago, and sent it in without updating it.

You wrote a terrific story set in France, but publishers here prefer Australian material.

The publisher is looking for fresh writing, and you are writing regency romances in the style of Georgette Heyer.

The publisher is looking for stories with an ecological component, and your hero tends to burn forests and dine on endangered animals.

Your story is pretty darned good, but just doesn’t have the zing to sell a publisher on it.

Your story offers advice to readers on cancer treatments/ looking your best/ evolution, but you have no recognised qualifications in the field.



the book doctor
69 Sandville Place
Tasmania 7020

(03) 6239 9423