belated rejection

Julie, my editor, emailed and said, "I just received the signed contracts -- thanks! I'm looking forward to rereading the manuscript soon, and to getting you suggested edits later this fall." I haven't spoken to her in months. The publishing business is sooo slow. On the same day, I received a belated rejection letter in the mail.

I'm used to receiving rejection letters. I've piled them up since I began selling my short stories to lit magazines as a teen. But the rejections that I've received from editors in publishing houses have sounded downright weird. Instead of commenting on my plot or character development, they only seemed concerned with whether they could sell the thing or not. Or whether it was "marketable." Or whether books like mine had been sold before. They want something new. But they want something familiar. Most of the time, they don't know what they want.

This last letter really pissed me off. It said my work was "too sophisitcated" for teens. To me, that's like saying that young people are stupid...or their tastes are too simple...they can't handle something that's different from the YA cliches of gossipy cheerleaders or talking animals.

And another thing....if my novel straddles the line between adult and teen fiction, that means you can market it to both audiences. In fact, that's becoming more and more common lately.

Who is this cranky editor...telling me what teens like or don't like?

PS: If you want to read some hilarious rejection letters, check out this site: