49 Responses to “Help an editor out”

  1. Eden Bradley January 27, 2009 at 2:05 PM #

    I’m an instant gratification girl, so I want to know ASAP! But that could just be me…:)

  2. Michelle (MG) January 27, 2009 at 2:05 PM #

    I say write as soon as you know, but then I get what you’re saying about perceptions. The thing is, if you know, you know. It doesn’t make it any easier, I’m sure, for either of you.

  3. Kristen January 27, 2009 at 2:08 PM #

    Yep, I have to agree. Respond as soon as you know. It’s like ripping off a bandaid – anticipation is always worse than the actual pain.

  4. Phyllis D January 27, 2009 at 2:08 PM #

    I prefer to hear back right away if it doesn’t work. I tend to get my hopes up a little higher each day I wait, so it’s easier for me to deal with a rejection letter after a two week wait than it is after a seven week wait. Also, the sooner I hear back, the sooner I can start rewriting it and get it submitted elsewhere.

  5. Moira Keith January 27, 2009 at 2:10 PM #

    In my opinion, the sooner I know you are not interested, the better. A fast rejection, in my opinion, would keep me from getting my hopes up. Yeah it may sting the ego a bit to receive a quick rejection, but at least I can make my decision on where to take the ms next.

    Hurt feelings aside, I think most authors are aware of how busy an editor can be. Though we may feel our ms may not have received its due, time is valuable to all sides of the equation.

  6. MJ Britt January 27, 2009 at 2:10 PM #

    I would agree, I’d rather know as soon as possible. There may be many reasons why an editor might reject a manuscript, and the sooner I know, the sooner I can submit to the second round of a/e’s.

  7. Margay Leah Justice January 27, 2009 at 2:11 PM #

    I have to agree with the majority. I’d rather know sooner than later if it’s a rejection. It’s much harder if you wait a week (or in my case several months) and then the answer is no. Put me out of my misery earlier rather than later.

  8. Kristina Cook January 27, 2009 at 2:13 PM #

    Well, my immediate feeling is that I’d like to know right away. However, I’ve read so many online rants and blog posts from aspiring writers who got quick rejections going on and on about how the ‘editor/agent obviously didn’t read it/didn’t give it enough consideration, etc.’ Or they’ll complain that the first few pages seemed ‘handled’ but the rest looked as if it hadn’t been touched. I think a lot of people don’t get that sometimes you only have to read the first page (or paragraph!) to ‘know’! But again…me? I’m all for knowing ASAP.

  9. Donna Herren January 27, 2009 at 2:14 PM #

    I’d rather hear as soon as possible. Then I know when to schedule my tequila therapy. LOL

  10. Angie January 27, 2009 at 2:20 PM #

    @ Kristina. Yes! You nailed my fears exactly. I don’t want people to blog about me *shiver* πŸ˜‰

  11. Margay Leah Justice January 27, 2009 at 2:27 PM #

    Kristina, I have to agree with your fears but add this: How long does it take the reader to decide whether to buy a book? I know I can decide just by reading the back cover or the first few paragraphs myself, so doesn’t it make sense that an editor or agent can do the same when reading a manuscript? I think we, as writers, need to keep that in mind and appreciate that our work was read in the first place. There’s a lot of competition out there, after all. And we need to remember that each no brings us one step closer to a yes.

  12. ArkansasCyndi January 27, 2009 at 2:35 PM #

    Rip it off! I’d rather know ASAP.

  13. Shannyn January 27, 2009 at 2:35 PM #

    Hi – I agree with Kristina. I totally want to know right away. It frees me to look elsewhere. But there are a lot of writers who assume you didn’t read their work if you respond quickly. I wouldn’t worry too much about people blogging about you. Most of us respect the job that editors and agents have and trust that you know what will and won’t work for you.

  14. Angie January 27, 2009 at 2:37 PM #

    Margay, you make very nice, very reasonable points and you’re quite right. It’s something you’ll hear editors and agents say often. We should also mention that editors and agents have to go through many, many submissions, even more than a casual reader, and will be putting in a huge monetary and time investment so they have to love everything about a book to keep reading (we’d never get to the next one if we read the whole of–or even 20 pages of–every submission.

    Unfortunately, all authors who submit books to publishers aren’t always reasonable about rejection. I just don’t understand why πŸ˜‰

  15. Angie January 27, 2009 at 2:40 PM #

    Heheheh, Shannyn. It’s happened before, but really, I was saying that tongue-in-cheek about the blogging. I think my concern is just giving the author the wrong idea or an ego bruise (on top of the rejection) by responding quickly.

  16. Bree January 27, 2009 at 2:53 PM #

    It is my opinion that someone likely to be angry and ranty about a rejection is not going to be less angry and ranty just because you waited a while to tell them. I have complete confidence they will be able to find some other reason that you totally just passed on the book of the century. LOL

    And yeah, I’d rather be put out of my misery ASAP. (Because then I can start composing my blog post about how my editor doesn’t know what she’s missing, of course.)

  17. Theresa S. January 27, 2009 at 2:53 PM #

    Good question. I’ve had authors send me nastygrams in reply to rejections they deemed “too fast.”

  18. Shannyn January 27, 2009 at 2:54 PM #

    But you’ll never win with us. We’re a temperamental bunch. Answer too quickly and you didn’t give us our deserved attention. Take your time and we rail on you for not being fast enough. If we can’t handle rejection, we shouldn’t be in the game. I think most of us prefer a quick answer since the waiting is the hardest part

  19. Amy January 27, 2009 at 2:58 PM #

    The sooner the better.

    At least that way if it’s a reject the author can move on.

  20. Annie January 27, 2009 at 3:00 PM #

    You know that I’m not a writer. But I have to second Kristina. All of the agent and editor blogs I’ve visited have had rants about authors ranting about submissions coming back with rejections too soon. I’m sure all of the authors who hated on agents and editors for responding too soon would answer your question like many have here… i.e. answer ASAP. (Not saying anyone who responded here is the kind to hate on Angie or any other agent or editor.)

    So I’d probably recommend waiting a day or two to give the illusion that you gave a manuscript its due attention. I think the mentality of “it’s okay if such- n-such happens so long as it doesn’t happen to me” is prevalent in the writing industry (just going by all the rants I see about it).

  21. Angela January 27, 2009 at 3:03 PM #

    Personally I’d want to know right away. Either way. Having never had a finished manuscript to send in I’m not quite sure what goes out with rejection letters. But I know that if mine were being rejected, I would want to be able to set to work to fixing whatever was wrong with it. Or trying to make it more appealing and a better read. *shrugs*

    I have read a lot of complaints though about too quick rejection letters. I just don’t agree with them.

  22. Angie January 27, 2009 at 3:04 PM #

    Bree, you make a really great point!

    Oh, Theresa, we should compare notes sometime.

    Annie, I don’t think my blog readers would hate on me either πŸ˜‰ I’m convinced they’re all superstars! Actually, I think that a lot of these conversations that we have, the people who would benefit from them the most aren’t reading them–or if they are, the self-insight isn’t there to know it applies to them.

  23. Jana Stocks January 27, 2009 at 3:25 PM #

    I’d rather just get it over with so I can get back to the work of revision and new stuff. πŸ™‚ So I could see waiting a day or two, but keeping the bad news for a week just for appearances? Naw.


  24. Jaci Burton January 27, 2009 at 3:45 PM #

    Asap, woman. If you’re reading submissions and prepping rejections, then get them out the door whether the person submitted that day or a month ago. Rejection is rejection no matter when they get it. I don’t really think it’s your job to worry about anyone’s feelings on when they get the rejection. Sorry, but that’s my opinion. Rejection is part of the writer’s life. If we want this life, we deal.

    And I’ve been rejected both after a year of submission, and within the hour. Makes no difference. It’s still a rejection. But I’d prefer sooner rather than later.

  25. Gwen Hayes January 27, 2009 at 3:51 PM #

    I would always prefer to know sooner than later. Like K said: band-aid

  26. Angie January 27, 2009 at 3:56 PM #

    Hm. Since I’ve decided only reasonable people read my blog, does that mean I do the opposite of your advice and do the unreasonable? :neener:

  27. Fae January 27, 2009 at 4:02 PM #

    As soon as you know would be my choice. There’s enough waiting in the publishing game that I’d prefer not to wait when I didn’t have to. It’d sting and probably require some chocolate, but better than wasting a couple of weeks getting my hopes up when I could be moving on and reworking whatever’s wrong with the MS or sending it elsewhere.

    But then, I’m notoriously impatient lol.

  28. Jana J. Hanson January 27, 2009 at 4:04 PM #

    You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t sometimes!!

    For me personally, I can tell rather quickly if I don’t like a submission. That said, I’ll put it away for a day or two, to see if my gut reaction has changed once I pick it back up again. [Typically, though, those initial opinions don’t change.]

  29. Angie January 27, 2009 at 4:07 PM #

    @Jana Hanson I will put some submissions aside to go back to if I think it’s my mood or if I’m distracted and can’t seem to concentrate or think it’s just something about me at the time, not the submission. I also pass on to other editors if it’s good writing and not my cup o’tea. But many times I can look at a submission and know it’s a rejection all around, no questions.

  30. Ember January 27, 2009 at 4:29 PM #

    I want to know right now. If you can tell me before I even send it to you, that would be awesome.

  31. Kimber Chin January 27, 2009 at 4:38 PM #

    I’d rather hear back right away.

    Don’t send me a FOD (F*** off & die) autoresponse 30 seconds after submission,
    with the wording ‘After much consideration…’
    That makes the sender look like an idiot.

  32. Lorelie Brown January 27, 2009 at 4:54 PM #

    As a person who queried a round of agents in October, and has only heard back in any form from 1/3rd of them, I resoundingly vote as quick as possible.

  33. Ayla F January 27, 2009 at 4:55 PM #

    I’m all for hearing back right away. It’s really nerve wracking waiting to hear if you’ve made the grade or not. I’d prefer to know an hour after i’ve sent it if you think it’s rubbish rather than wait two agonizing weeks or more.

    It also means i know to work harder πŸ˜€

  34. Imogen Howson January 27, 2009 at 6:01 PM #

    Jaci said: And I’ve been rejected both after a year of submission, and within the hour.

    Me too. The within-the-hour one I laughed. The after-a-year one…not so much.

    Quicker is better.


  35. Maria January 27, 2009 at 6:43 PM #

    Most agents/editors know whether something entices them right away. If it doesn’t work for you, let us know asap. I’m not going to worry that it took you two minutes to reach that decision. It takes me less time than that when I’m browsing for a new book to read.

    If I can pass on a book after reading a couple of paragraphs, why shouldn’t you?

  36. Joan January 27, 2009 at 6:49 PM #

    I want to know ASAP so I can send it on to someone else. Holding back doesn’t help anyone. Rejection doesn’t sting any less if it takes a month instead of a day. I can’t freakin stand it when I send a query to an agent and I don’t hear back for many weeks or worse…months if they don’t state their time frame up front. It honks me off and I put a nice red highlight on their name in my spreadsheet and I won’t send them anything else.

    Thanks for the chance to rant…I feel much better now. LOL :boobie:

  37. AE Rought January 27, 2009 at 7:11 PM #

    I say let them know as soon as you know. IMHO, to allow them warm fuzzies, if there is no huzzah at the end of the fuzzing period, why prolong things? I’d prefer to know sooner rather than later and twist in the proverbial wind.

  38. Diane Craver January 27, 2009 at 7:38 PM #

    I wouldn’t want to get the rejection the same day but a couple of days would be fine. That’s great you care enough to see how writers feel about fast rejections!

  39. Grace Draven January 27, 2009 at 8:54 PM #

    Honestly, considering the averange standard response times from agents and publishing houses, I’d rather have something back as soon as possible This gives me the ability to move that manuscript in other directions if necessary.

  40. Dana Marie Bell January 27, 2009 at 9:24 PM #

    Honestly, I’d rather know sooner rather than later so I know whether or not I’m going to wind up reworking the story and submitting it elsewhere. It’s the wait that kills me.

    Yeah, my hubby has to hide my Christmas presents. I’m a shaker. :presents:

  41. Tez Miller January 27, 2009 at 10:16 PM #

    ASAP. I don’t like waiting πŸ˜‰

  42. jaq January 27, 2009 at 10:45 PM #

    Sooner rather than later.

  43. Christine McKay January 28, 2009 at 9:31 AM #

    I say respond back as soon as you know, particularly if it’s a rejection. I’d rather have it rejected quickly so I can move it along to another house, revise, or junk it than have it linger for weeks on end in an editor’s “REJECT” email folder.

  44. Karen January 28, 2009 at 11:24 AM #

    I always appreciate a quick response, for exactly the same reasons Christine McKay mentioned.

  45. Kwana January 29, 2009 at 10:06 AM #

    Wow great question. I agree with the group. The sooner the better. The waiting is just awful.

  46. Debbie Kaufman January 29, 2009 at 2:10 PM #

    Sooner is definately better. I understand that some may rant and feel that you didn’t give it a chance. I’d prefer to assume that you knew your job well enough to know what you want. If I’m not it, then time to move on!

  47. Debbie Mumford January 29, 2009 at 8:09 PM #

    I absolutely want to know as soon as you’ve made a decision!

    I actually had one rejection hit my inbox nearly as fast I could refresh after sending it. *sigh* Obviously not the response I was hoping for, but it let me move forward, and that’s always a plus!

  48. Marley Delarose January 30, 2009 at 10:16 AM #

    Absolutely, as soon as you know.
    Though it’s nice of you (you are, after all, the nice — editor, oops) to try to hold off, that would be extra work for you. You’d have to set reminders to send out the rejection letter one week after you’d actually rejected a MS and the next and the next. Too much trouble for a busy editor.

  49. Jen(kubes6) June 12, 2009 at 7:24 PM #

    I’d say respond ASAP. I’d rather know immediately.

About Me

Angela James

There is nothing worse than writing a bio. And writing one for your blog sidebar? Blech. Maybe you landed here via Google, followed me from Twitter (does that make you a stalker?) or maybe we met at a conference or you clicked a link from a comment I made at a blog you visited. Hopefully whatever I said didn't make you so mad you came looking for a picture to throw darts at (yep, that's me up above, in my favorite cowboy hat) but instead drove you to find out more about the amazingly witty and intelligent person behind the amazingly witty and intelligent comment.

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