Sunday, August 12, 2007

Brilliant Idea for Software Developers

If you ever wrote a Job Description for an author or an aspiring writer, one criteria should be spelt out in bold letters - the ability to handle rejection slips. It is a death blow to one's ego. Handling that without seeking professional help in carrying out psychological repairs is not easy.

When I was sending out my manuscript to various publishers, I had initially taken a cautious approach. I would mail my stuff with a polite covering note and add a silent prayer while licking the stamp. You can't fault me for praying. I would send off the manuscript with the same fondness with which a parent sees off their child to college. Nobody expects them to dropout.

Then came the next bit - waiting for the mailman to bring in the response. I would bunk work just so that I could be there in person to receive the million dollar advance that the publisher might be sending me. Heck that's not how the real world works. I would get a prompt response back from the publisher. Yeah how long does it take to say "NO" - which part of the "NO" are you having difficulty comprehending, my friend would ask in a helpful manner.

Priya mentioned that these days the editors send electronic rejection slips. That's taking the art of insulting to new heights. Can't you take a couple of minutes to write a few lines to the person whose dreams you are stubbing out.

The only way of coping with this impersonal rejection slip system is to seek tech support. Maybe someone will figure out a technology that lets all aspiring authors to send one copy of the manuscript to every publisher in the world simultaneously and then stay pasted on the screen until he/ she goes through the darn story syllable by syllable. Thereafter, there would be an annoying pop up that asks the publisher, "Have you sent the million bucks yet?"

The accompanying piece of software the authors will need to install will allow all rejection slips to be filtered out so that it is only the acceptance letters that flow through to the in-box. Any takers?

This blog entry was inspired by the comment Priya left on my blog. She talked about the auto-rejection slips sent by publishing houses.


Anonymous said...

The part about the pop-up window was hilarious.Know what? I started writing my novel last year, inspired by the new breed of authors who talk about stuff which has a "Same Here" effect on a sizeable Target Audience. In my case, its chick-lit(yes, i do not mind the term anymore)
Of the publishers I've approached so far I must epeat for effect that Penguin hurt me the most.There were others too..doesn't fit into their overall profile,only publish Marathi fiction(?!),we have exhausted our budget but if you pitch in...(!!!).Penguin, alongwith the auto-rejection slip sends a little P.S. saying if I want my manuscript back, I have to send a self-addressed ,postage paid envelope.
I'd like to tell these publishers that I dont know about this book but you guys are definitely giving me enough meat to write the next one. Thanks for the inputs for my next chick-lit.
If you cant beat them join them!
Wot say?

Abhijit Bhaduri said...

Dear Fellow Rejection Slip Receiving Author aka Priya

If someone says they need a "self-addressed postage paid envelope" to send YOUR manuscript back to YOU, it actually makes sense. Would you rather that they ask you to fund a paper shredder for their office which they would use to shred YOUR manuscript in front of YOUR eyes? Sorry, but I had to side with the publishers on this one.

Siding shamelessly with the other camp
Abhijit Bhaduri