Friday, August 25, 2006

Punctured Dreams

"Dear Bill Liversidge,

Thank you for sending us A Half Life of One, which has now been to a reader and given due consideration. Although our reader found it interesting, I regret we are unable to accept it for publication.

Macmillan receive many thousands of manuscripts every year so unfortunately it is not possible to respond personally to every author.

Because we receive so many mss and are able to publish only a small percentage, rejection does not automatically imply anything about the quality of the work we are unable to use.

There are many reasons why a book may not suit our lists. We may have other, similar material in production, we may be oversubscribed with good submissions during this season, we may have decided not to publish books on certain themes, etc.

Unless you have asked us to return a typescript manuscript to you, we will now permanently delete any electronic files we have relating to your book.

Thank you for contacting us, and good luck with your writing.

Will AtkinsCommissioning Editor, Macmillan New Writing"


  1. I feel your pain, Bill. It is a good thing though that they say it went to a reader, and the reader found it interesting. That wasn't in the letter that I got from MNW. I always look out for these bonuses when I get rejection letters. Chin up and march on!

  2. There you are!!

    Punctures can be repaired Bill. File this and as Shameless says 'March onwards'.
    Thought that this was quite a positive rejection compared to some of the unintelligible scribbles that now sit in my 'hopeless cow' files.
    Advise keeping up my 'they know nothing' outlook on the whole thing, and as you once said to me "keep tapping and keep the faith"...somebody, somewhere, someday?

  3. Bill, I empathize with you. I have a drawer full of rejection letters. However, I now believe this: rejection says more about the one doing the rejecting than about the one being rejected. Henry Baum, over at Ash Tree, is the perfect example. No one wanted his book, North of Sunset, so he self-published. Now -- yesterday, in point of fact -- he has a contract with a hi-rez literary agent. Hang in there. You CAN write, so it will happen.
    Just keep sending it out, and keep working on the next one.

  4. Remember, I thought A Half Life of One was really different and really good, as did Bridget.

    Time to press on and do a multiple submission to literary agents and editors who have demonstrated an interest in the genre.

    What about the literary agent and editor of The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe? It's been twenty years since that book was published. I'm still alive and maybe the literary agent and editor of that book are too! I'd be tracking them down right now and putting them at the top of my list. Your book is a variation of The Bonfire of the Vanities! Put that in your query letter!

    Lynne AKA The Wicked Witch of Publishing

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  6. They used the word "unfortunately" twice. That is 2 times too many. Move on and self publish, which it sounds like you are already re-thinking anyway.

  7. Maxine9:56 pm

    Just got back from holiday, trying to catch up. Sorry to read this, Pundy. Those upstairs obviously didn't take any notice of me.