Good evening, everyone. So I hope all of you have made your way over to Brook Street's bookstore and bought yourselves some good books. Thanks again, Jim, for stopping by and enlightening us.
Now I know some of you (including my naysaying coworkers) think I'm crazy for saying and doing some of the things I say and do. Maybe I am. I just find it a lot of fun to look at the publishing challenges square in the face and say, "Pppppfffffff!" I'm not trying to climb any corporate ladders and I'll never be a salesman or a gatekeeper. I can only do one thing and that's carry out this passion for assisting in the creation of excellent books. And though it's appreciated, I don't need any concern about my employer's feelings about my opinions. I'll be fired when God decides it. Until then, I'm too fired up to worry about it.
I have to get home to write, but I want to leave you tonight with this little snip from an article that brought a knowing smile to this editor's face (yes, we can smile, you just can't usually tell we're doing it). Seems like good stuff to keep in mind. This comes from David Milofsky, novelist and professor of English at Colorado State University…
"All [industry] professionals … are often reluctant to express their true feelings about a manuscript, and [therefore] freight their rejection letters with euphemisms. And for good reason. Who needs an argument with an author you're never going to work with? The following glossary, offered with tongue in cheek, might help literary hopefuls decipher messages received…in response to their work:
Interesting = Boring
Has potential = Amateurish
Moving = Show it to Mom
Needs work = Hopeless
Mid-list = Won't sell
Intelligent = See "interesting"
Ambitious = Too long
Spare = Too short
Poetic = Insomniacs only
Plot-driven = Superficial
Excellent = Possible, with a rewrite
Cinematic = Unreadable
Marketable = People will buy anything
Challenging = See "poetic"
At this time (as in, we can't use it at this time) = Never
Experimental = In your dreams
Character-driven = No story
Novel of ideas = No one will read it
Talented = How did you get in here?"
Sadly, it's fairly accurate, but I suggest you don't ponder this too long. Use it to keep in mind who your initial reader is (your editor), and then completely forget you read it. This is what you're up against, but it's just the price of admission as a revolutionary. And you and I both know you can break through that cynicism with your great, polished writing. It happens every day, even today.
And why not you?