Friday, September 02, 2005

Thick Skin

I think I've developed the requisite thick skin that writers need in this publishing game. I received another rejection yesterday.

Although I'm disappointed, I didn't stew over it. Well, maybe a little bit. I had some chocolate, vented to Rene, and then promptly forgot about it by immersing myself in a mountain of laundry.

The phrasing in this rejection letter played to the tune of several others I've received. "The historical market is tight right now and we're being extremely selective on what we take on."

Here's the thing I don't understand. Why is the historical market tight right now? Is it because (gasp!) there are only a few locales that publishers will even look at publishing? Is it because readers are getting tired of reading the same locales over and over again and want something fresh and thus are not buying historicals? Face it - that is the bottom line - money. If something is selling, publishers will print it. And taking a chance on something new is, well, taking a chance.

I could be wrong, but I really think that this is where RWA needs to use their powers for good instead of gossip. Romance writers have a wonderful ear bent to the needs of romance readers. We know what they want to read. Why can't we convey that to the publishing world through the power of RWA?

I had an idea last night for a really cool series set in the 1940's. But the more I thought about it, the more I didn't want to even try writing it. Why? Because, as we all know, titles set during the World War II era don't sell. Funny, because I devour titles (what few there are) set during this time period. Surely I can't be alone.

All this griping aside, I'm still going to play the publishing game. I'm still going to write what I like to write and read. I'm not going to write to the market because I don't believe in that particular philosophy.

So where does that leave me?

The same place I started - a keyboard and a blank screen just waiting to be filled with the magic of my imagination.

7 comments:

  1. Excellent post, Mel. As you know, I totally agree with you. While everyone says the historical market is so tight, it still seems to dominate much of the bookshelves. But I think readers are starting to tire of the same old-same old. At least that is what I'm hoping.

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  2. Mills & Boon is looking for WWII-set historicals, so I hear.

    I think what we have to do is stand out from the typical historicals. We need more time periods, more innovative characters, and a publisher willing to invest their time in us. But we'll get there! I continue to buy historicals and so do others.

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  3. Mills & Boon is looking for WWII-set historicals, so I hear.

    I think what we have to do is stand out from the typical historicals. We need more time periods, more innovative characters, and a publisher willing to invest their time in us. But we'll get there! I continue to buy historicals and so do others.

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  4. Hey--to be a breakout you have to go in the direction no one else is...just do it the way you are, with your eyes open and determination in your heart!!

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  5. Hugs on the rejection. And I'm with you on the whole "tight historical market" - it sucks. I know so many people who LOVE historicals, but want to read something other than Medieval and Regency. I think we just have to keep trying!!!

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