Monday, July 18, 2011

Seven Reasons the Committee Says No: Part III

It's Mixing-It-Up Monday here on Seriously Write. Annette here. Hope you all had a great weekend. Let's dive back into the writing groove with some advice from Harvest House editor Nick Harrison on getting our work through the publishing committee.

Seven Reasons the Committee Says No: Part III*
By Nick Harrison

We're continuing our list of seven reason the publishing committee turns us down. Here are numbers four and five. Unlike some of the reasons, these two are more controllable (i.e. you can work on writing craft, and you can study what the house wants).

Poor writing. Although ideally editors such as myself, only take proposals to committee we believe in, that should mean that poor writing is not a reason the committee would turn it down. After all, why would I take something to the committee that was poorly written? The truth is that I might indeed take a proposal from someone who has a platform and is writing on a strong topic, but whose writing is weak. (With the knowledge that as his or her editor, I can help “fix” the manuscript). But often the committee will just say no in such a case.

Sometimes the perception is that the author might not be a good fit for us. One of our core values at Harvest House is: Develop and maintain long-term relationships. If you look at our bestselling authors, you’ll notice that many of them have been with us for a long time. Few of our authors venture elsewhere. That’s because of our commitment to having a relationship that’s not purely business. We’re friends with most of our authors. We pray for them when they need prayer, we encourage them when necessary, and we try to produce the best book we can from their manuscript. But sometimes that’s not what an author really wants. Another reason an author might not fit is that we’re looking for authors who will build a writing career, not just publish one or two books and then call it quits. If you’re a one-book author, you will have a hard time finding a publishing home.

Next Monday, our final installment in this series. Learn more about Nick Harrison at his blog.
This post originally appeared on Nick Harrison's blog. Used by permission.

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