The 4 1/2 Year Rejection

Posted: April 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

I submitted 33 A.D. to a (fairly big) publisher back in mid-2007 and never heard from them. I moved on from this a long time ago. I went out and published my book myself, and it has done pretty well, most would say. At least for a self-pub, anyway.

So imagine my surprise when I received this email today:

Dear Mr. McAfee,

Thank you for your patience as we kept your novel under consideration.  I recommended your novel for serious consideration, and it made it to the Publisher’s desk.  After much consideration, however, we regret that we will not be able to find a place for it in our lineup.

We can accept fewer than one percent of the manuscripts submitted to us, and constraints on our time and resources make it impossible for us to respond even to such high-quality submissions as yours with the close and individualized attention they deserve.  

We do wish you the best of luck with the novel.

Contributing Editor
XXXX Books

Wow. Four and a half years between submission and rejection.

Wow. Just…wow.

Okay. Well, thank you for letting me know. I appreciate it…

  1. Holy cow manure … 4 1/2 years.

    I’m going to tweet about this.

  2. My second wife rejected me after eleven years. I also did all right without her. Hope you see the comparison. LOL

  3. Hmmm says:

    Publishers, by and large, suck, and have no sense of decency. They live in the past wherein writers begged for their attention. It’s all falling apart for them. Good riddance. The unmitigated PRESUMPTION that your work would even be AVAILABLE for them chaps my hide. What a joke. Was it Zebra? Was it Zebra? Was it Zebra?

    You would be doing other writers a service by revealing the company’s name so that they could be eternally avoided.


    Someone shoot me.

  4. Wilson says:

    I would be interested in knowing the publisher’s name as well – they deserve to be exposed as much as Ghostwriter was exposed. Four and a half years. Any self respecting publisher would simply have not responded after such a length of time. And they used a “feel good” form letter to boot, claiming it made it to the “publisher’s desk” and “after much consideration…” As if that somehow earns goodwill and makes up for their egregious oversight. Good grief.

    @ Hmmm – McAfee may be worried/afraid about “burning bridges,” holding out some subconscious hope they might publish his work someday afterall. I wouldn’t hold my breath. Writers are so afraid to say anything bad about established publishers. It’s much easier to confront an independent publisher who promises the moon than a professional(sic) publisher who withholds the moon.

    Perhaps with good reason. Simply look at the circle jerk of Lovecraft wannabees who attend the conventions and compare that list to the list of “published” Lovecraft authors and you soon see an insufferable amount of mutual back scratching going on that has little to do with writing quality. God forbid if you say something sucked about the Portland scene. God forbid if you don’t agree Joe Pulver is the living reincarnation of Robert W. Chambers.

    Like anything else, writing is infected with politics and bribery of one sort or another.

    It’s also infected with inferior writing.

    In the mid 1990s, I personally knew a female author who was sleeping her way to the “top” of HWA (admittedly, an oxymoron), sleeping her way into anthologies, sleeping with other authors while “networking,” etc. She couldn’t write for squat, but she was a looker.

    I view “networking at conventions” with a similar disdain, however, I understand why authors are hesitant to voice their true thoughts and succumb to censorship due to fear of adolescent retaliation.

    Weird Tales, anyone?

    What an insipid joke.

    Weird Tales ceased/died in 1954. Just because someone slapped a brand name on a magazine in 1988 doesn’t give it the right to claim they’ve been bringing it on since 1923.


    Show some balls and create a new brand name instead of leeching off the history of the original. Meanwhile, their sense of entitlement is nauseating. One would think they have tentacles growing her their desks and singular sentient fungi in the drawers attempting to open a door to another world.

    A 4.5 year rejection is as insulting as a company claiming they “just now” got to your resume you submitted a year ago, and they just wanted to let you know you didn’t get the job.

    I find such behavior as offensive as the BS spun by Neil Jackson at Ghostwriter Publications.

    My agent is going to love this post. (insert sarcasm)

    • mcafeeland says:

      I have named the publisher on a writer’s forum to which I belong. I have declined to name them here out of respect for their past work, as well as authors who have written for them whose works I have enjoyed reading.

      This post is not intended to be a smear campaign against traditional publishing.

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