Do you know what sucks? This sucks. After sitting with my thumb up my butt for months waiting to hear back from this publisher, the death knell came BY E-MAIL yesterday... I'll intersplice my comments in between.
Attached please find the first of two reviews we have received for Start Strong, Graduate Great. Ordinarily, I don’t forward authors reviews until both are in hand, but since I know you are very eager to move ahead I wanted to get back to you. The second reviewer has not gotten back to us after her son’s spinal accident, and given the potential seriousness of his injury, it’s not really appropriate to nudge her to get back to us as we usually would. I will forward you her review as soon as it
**So, basically they are basing this on one review. Nice. Doesn't Angela Yorio count as a review? She likes the idea.**
The first reviewer likes the idea behind the book, but has some concerns about its execution. Most importantly, she feels the informal tone and your background as a former student rather than a practitioner would discourage most career counseling professionals from using the book. As I tried to explain from the beginning, this professional market would be critical to our ability to publish the project.
**Same B.S. Far be it from young people to have any clue what's best for them. Obviously, you need lots of degrees to know your ass from your elbow.**
The problem, then, is unfortunately not the content, but the marketing and more specifically [publishing company]’s ability to target the potential audience for this book. After reading this first review and discussing the project with marketing, I’m afraid we do not believe that we are the right publisher for your book. We do very few “trade books” in our education program---that is, books geared for a general audience or non-professional audience, and that require significant publicity. Even those few trade books we do publish here are written by academics---it’s part of our identity as a scholarly publisher and what readers and reviewers expect from us. Your book, while on an interesting topic, doesn’t fit that mold. It would require a much different marketing and publicity machine than we have in place for our other books. In other words, the potential readers of your book are not a group we regularly target now, and those same readers wouldn’t think to look to [publishing company] if searching for such a book. Regretfully, then, we have determined that we are unable to pursue publication of Start Strong, Graduate Great.
**Seems like you knew that... oooohh about four months ago! What was this reviewer going to say that would have convinced you that you only want to publish textbooks? If you were waiting on one reviewer to decide whether you'd change your entire business model, I question your ability to run your firm. What a waste of time...**
I would suggest that you instead try contacting “tradier,” rather than scholarly, publishers---check out which publishers have even moderately comparable guidebooks on their list to determine which might be the most appropriate fit. Just so you know, many big-name trade publishers will not accept unsolicited manuscripts. They only accept manuscripts that come through an agent. Finding an agent might be another avenue for you to pursue (granted that’s easier said than done). There’s a reference book called Literary Market Place, which you can find at any college or large public library. It includes listings of publishers (broken down by type and subject area) and agents---this might be one place to research potential agents to submit to. I’ve only worked with one agent for my education books, but I will check with her and see if your project might be of interest to her. One last thought is for you to try a smaller publisher I found called Natavi Guides. They publish a series of college guidebooks called “Students Helping Students,” which at least sounds like it would be a great match with your project. You can check them out at http://www.nataviguides.com/.
**Fuck that. I'm self-publishing. The Literary Market Place just gives people the false hope that anyone besides Dr. Phil and Monica Lewinsky can get a book published. I'll check out the nataviguides thing, though. **
I’m sorry not to be writing with better news, but in the end I do believe our decision is in the best interest of the book—it wouldn’t do your work justice to publish the book and not be able to get it into the hands of its potential readers. I do appreciate you giving us the opportunity to consider your work and hope the reviews will at least prove helpful as you revise. I wish you the best in finding an appropriate publisher---if I can answer any questions or offer any advice as you prepare for your next submission, please feel free to call.
You know how I knew that she wasn't interested? I wrote her about my new website, and she didn't even respond. No matter what, a publisher, in my mind, has to take at least a mild interest in the kind of work someone is doing for them to be a right fit. She didn't even respond!!
On a completely unrelated note, I was at the game last night. Not much to say... you all saw it on TV yourselves. Being at the game was exciting, but cold... very very cold. And wet.
While I'd love to see the Sox pull it off, I know what's going to happen here. Miguel Cairo is going to be this year's Aaron Boone/Bucky Dent and end it in the bottom of the 9th on a homer that just clears right field porch.