Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Love vs. Like

It's interesting to me, as a writer, to experience things from an editor's point-of-view.  It's actually quite enlightening to see things from the other side of the desk, so to speak.  One thing I've learned recently is that there's a *huge* difference between what happens with "I love this manuscript!" and "I like this manuscript."  Even if I liked it a lot.

There was one book that I loved, but wasn't able to acquire because none of my fellow editors shared my enthusiasm.  Maybe they liked it, but they didn't love it.

There have been several manuscripts that I've liked.  Really liked.  They were perfectly enjoyable reads, and very well-written.  And yet....that certain X-factor just wasn't there for me.  And here's the thing--an editor has to love a manuscript in order to acquire it.  Why?  Because first you have to convince the rest of your "team" (whether that means editorial, or marketing/sales) that your house *must* have the book.  I know that sounds easy-peasy, but it isn't.  Then, once you've acquired it, you have to be willing to read the manuscript a million times.  A zillion, even.  Over and over again, until you probably know every word by heart.

I've had to turn down books I've liked.  Good books.  Some really good books.  

What does this mean to me, as a writer?  That rejections aren't equivalent to "your book sucks" or "don't quit your day job."  That an editor could very well have enjoyed my book--even thought it well written and fun.  That they even might have liked it a lot.  They just didn't love it.  And you know what?   That's okay.  We can't all "love" the same things--if we did, the world would be a boring place.  Imagine if everyone loved vanilla ice cream.  Why would anyone bother with any other flavors?  What's the point, if everyone loves vanilla?  But in reality, everyone doesn't.  Some people eat vanilla ice cream and think, "Eh."  Others actually hate it.  That's why there's chocolate.  And strawberry.  And rocky road.  And pistachio.

There's nothing wrong with being the pistachio.

1 comment:

  1. Very well said! Makes me see the submission process in a whole new light. Rejection is never easy...it down right sucks. But not having the right editor who LOVES and worships your story can kill your story. Editors and agents are the advocates for your story, if they don't love it how can they fight for it, edit it, market it, advertise it, make the best it can be?

    I'm glad I found an editor that LOVES my story ;) I know it's in good hands.