Publishing Professionals (or, Reasons for Unabashed Hatred)
Why do I bring this up? In passing (while discussing marriage number two), she gets this feedback: "...we’d received a few incredibly glowing rejections from publishers – 'this book is so sad and funny, but we don’t know how we’d market it.'”
If you are a talented writer who happens to not write exceptionally marketable books, expect to see a lot of these types of rejections. But fear not: I (really, my agent) received plenty of these "marketing rejections" for my first novel, thought Penguin Putnam did a fine job of getting my book in front of folks.
Another lesson learned: you need to take control of your own career. No one--I repeat, no one-- has their finger on the high-blood-pressured pulse of this industry. Do what you have to to get your book published (as long as it is good, please.) Consider this from Lauren's post:
In November 2001, Harlequin launched an imprint called Red Dress Ink. I sensed that the editorial sensibility behind these books would be interested in yet another of my novels [#6] I had in my arsenal, The Thin Pink Line, a dark comedy set in London about a woman who fakes an entire pregnancy. I mentioned this to Three, pointing out, Hey, it’s always good to get in on the ground floor with a new publisher. After reading The Thin Pink Line, Three said it was very funny but that sort of thing had been “done too much already.”
[Right: that crowded comedies-about-fake-pregnancies genre…]
When I asked if Three would submit it to just this one publisher, I was told no: Three claimed to know for a fact the editor of Red Dress Ink did not want books with a London setting. I found this so hard to believe that I asked Three for permission to send it myself. This suggestion was greeted scathingly, and dismissively. I went ahead with the submission, and subsequently sold The Thin Pink Line all on my own to Red Dress Ink—indeed, I was offered (and accepted) a two-book contract. They even decided to publish The Thin Pink Line as the imprint’s own first-ever hardcover and came to me with the offer of an additional three-book contract before my debut had even pubbed.
Note also: Lauren buried her failed books in a box in her basement--books that agents and other industry professionals had believed in. And that, my friends, is a shame.