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I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.


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Thursday 7 January 2010
One of the group has had her book rejected by a publisher – always a horrible experience but what makes it more frustrating it came with the comment that she “. . . has an effortless, page-turning style . . .” Which makes me want to scream at them then what the hell are you looking for? Another publisher had earlier turned it down for being “not compelling enough.” The writer then asked me if I had any ideas to help with adding tension, drama. My reply which I’m sure she feels is no help whatsoever, was to ask her what her inner voice is saying to her. I feel that given the book is finished, given that she felt confident enough to send it off – as did her agent - then to change it now is not the best time to do so. It probably doesn’t need altering but disappointment can make one do things which are not necessary. And deep down inner voice is probably saying the same thing. Just look at those two comments. Effortless page-turning style and not compelling enough. Incompatible aren’t they? It is either one or the other. One is right and one is wrong. Knowing her work I’d go for the first. However, it illustrates how frustrating and complex publishing is. But given this I feel even more strongly that she should do nothing at this point. And as a PS, two publishers saying no, is nothing. My first novel Distinctions of Class was, over four years, turned down by virtually every publisher in London. It’s a tough business and a painful one, but talent will out!


  1. I am sure that there will be a yes for her sometime. As you say it may take time.
    Happy 2010.

  2. I guess the book just wasn't the right one for those publishers. If she feels it's right as it is, leave it and move on to another book. The first one will have its day eventually.