I recently received a rejection for a novel that a publisher held for over 2 years. In my rejection letter, it stated that my manuscript had received excellent reviews and feedback. Some of the comments included with my letter said my manuscript, “portrayed the conflict at the beginning and stayed true to it through the entire book,” and “the reader is never lost or confused with unnecessary information.” Further comments: “The conflict is unique,” “reaches a vast audience,” and “balances details of character’s life throughout story very well.” Other favorable comments were also included. Yet, the publisher rejected it.
I was not given a list of its weaknesses, what was negative, or why it was ultimately rejected which, in the long run, would’ve helped me to better understand why it was rejected and work to improve in those areas.
I realize this business is very subjective and I, as the author, do not see the whole picture, and that you cannot directly comment on my specific manuscript, but I wondered if you might be able to shed some light on what else a publisher looks for in a manuscript. What captivates or intrigues you? What makes you pass? What bores you? What makes you happy to be in publishing?
Dazed and confused
If you received positive feedback on your manuscript, then my guess is it was not rejected based on the quality of your writing. Good manuscripts are rejected for lots of reasons. They may have filled their publishing schedule for the year; they may have already accepted too many manuscripts in that genre; the marketing department may feel like it won’t sell well; an established author may have submitted something similar; and the list goes on.
This type of positive feedback is a good thing. Submit to someone else.