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quakerphil
10-29-2005, 05:47 PM
Piper's Ash hasn't published anything since 2002. Nonetheless, they are still soliciting queries and submissions. Recently, they wrote to me regarding a collection of my short stories that had already been published individually:

Dear Phillip,

Thank you for your collection of short stories. The modern short story
is a highly developed art form. We found your stories to be very
interesting little cameos, but to 21st century short story readers,
they do tend to drag a little, and lack the ingredients expected to be
found in modern short stories, eg. action, drama, pace, plot direction,
mystery, suspense, appropriate backgound, character development, etc.
etc. etc. needed to compete with other books on the shelves and hold the
readers attention. We would find it very difficult to get this work off
the ground.

JA Konrath
10-29-2005, 06:46 PM
Short story collections and anthologies are very tough to sell, because readers don't buy them.

waylander
10-29-2005, 09:16 PM
What exactly is your problem with Piper's Ash?

I know someone who has published stuff with them and he seems happy enough with them. He has also published novels with a medium size UK publisher and knows his way around.

Maryn
10-30-2005, 12:36 AM
I don't understand the thumbs-down for Piper's Ash, except that rejection hurts. ("It stings--it burns!")

What I read is the reasoning behind Piper's Ash's decision not to publish these stories in anthology form--they do not give readers what this publisher believes readers want. That translates to low sales.

If you ran a publishing company that hadn't published anything in three years, would you want to invest what capital you have left in an anthology you believe (rightly or wrongly) will not sell well?

Like any rejection, file it away (or discard it) and move on--with our sympathies.

Maryn, who's felt similar disappointments

JennaGlatzer
10-30-2005, 12:58 AM
I agree. This doesn't belong on the Bewares board. Just because a publisher rejects your work doesn't mean it's now a bad publisher.

(Moved thread to Rejection board.)

Jamesaritchie
10-30-2005, 02:54 AM
Piper's Ash hasn't published anything since 2002. Nonetheless, they are still soliciting queries and submissions. Recently, they wrote to me regarding a collection of my short stories that had already been published individually:

Dear Phillip,

Thank you for your collection of short stories. The modern short story
is a highly developed art form. We found your stories to be very
interesting little cameos, but to 21st century short story readers,
they do tend to drag a little, and lack the ingredients expected to be
found in modern short stories, eg. action, drama, pace, plot direction,
mystery, suspense, appropriate backgound, character development, etc.
etc. etc. needed to compete with other books on the shelves and hold the
readers attention. We would find it very difficult to get this work off
the ground.

What's your point? They just didn't like your short stories. That doesn't make them bad guys.

reph
10-30-2005, 05:22 AM
Phillip, as rejection letters go, that one isn't bad. They said something besides no. They gave you a mini-critique told you what they found missing in the stories. If you take their words as a signpost, you now have a direction for future writing.

quakerphil
11-11-2005, 10:17 PM
I can't believe anyone actually read the review I posted which is obviously either a parody or a deliberate attempt at ego destruction.

Note the following:
1. The lengthy laundry list of adjectives which my stories allegedly lack.
2. The inclusion in this list of words like "mystery" and "suspense" which are hardly relevant to stories outside the genra of mystery and suspense.
3. The reference to the "modern short story. As opposed to what?

And, most important, not a single reply references a current positive experience with this publisher.

aadams73
11-11-2005, 10:32 PM
Note the following:
1. The lengthy laundry list of adjectives which my stories allegedly lack.


<blink> the only adjectives they used to describe your stories are interesting and little.

Keep on submitting them elsewhere. I feel their comments are quite helpful. It is more feedback than you would get most places.

Jamesaritchie
11-12-2005, 01:35 AM
I can't believe anyone actually read the review I posted which is obviously either a parody or a deliberate attempt at ego destruction.

Note the following:
1. The lengthy laundry list of adjectives which my stories allegedly lack.


2. The inclusion in this list of words like "mystery" and "suspense" which are hardly relevant to stories outside the genre of mystery and suspense.

3. The reference to the "modern short story. As opposed to what?

And, most important, not a single reply references a current positive experience with this publisher.

which is obviously either a parody or a deliberate attempt at ego destruction.

No, it's a very mild and very common form of rejection. If anything, they were being kind. They were simply being honest, and mildly honest, at that. Agents and editors are often far more blunt and far more cruel than anything in this rejection. In fact, it sounds to me like whoever wrote that rejections was trying overly hard to be kind. What that rejection really says is, "We think your writing stinks in every way possible." But they said it in as kind a manner as possible. If your ego is this fragile, you're in the wrong business.

1. The lengthy laundry list of adjectives which my stories allegedly lack.

Only two that I saw. But what does this have to do with anything except send the message that anyone who rejects you shouldn't try telling you what they think you're doing wrong? They should just say, "Hell, no!"

2. The inclusion in this list of words like "mystery" and "suspense" which are hardly relevant to stories outside the genre of mystery and suspense.

Of course they're relevant. Most good stories in any genre have some mystery and suspense to them. Ones that do not are usually rejected, regardless of genre. If you think mystery and suspense elements are misplaced outside of the mystery and suspense genre, I can see why they rejected your stories.

3. The reference to the "modern short story. As opposed to what?

As opposed to a short story that reads like what most modern readers want to see. As opposed to an outdated style or storyline. As opposed to something they like. As opposed to stories that, in their words, do not lack lack things every modern short story needs, such as action, drama, pace, plot direction, mystery, suspense, appropriate background, character development, etc.

Whoever wrote this is saying that, in their opinion, your stories lack most or all of the elements they listed, and that modern short stories need these things, and need them done well. They're saying you didn't do them well, or at all.




And, most important, not a single reply references a current positive experience with this publisher.

That's because the problem here wasn't with the publisher. Whether this publisher is good or bad means nothing. The rejection they sent you is normal, fine, and standard. The problem was you blaming the publisher for sending you a perfectly normal, and very mild, rejection slip. I don't know a thing about this publisher, but I do know there's nothing at all wrong with the way they rejected you, except next time I hope they don't bother trying to tell you anything. You don't listen, you accuse. They don't like your writing. It seems they hate your writing. What they have or haven't published recently has nothing to do with anything. They don't like your writing. Period. Get over it and move on.

And trust me on this. Your attitude about this rejection is not going to stand you in good stead with any publisher. It's a perfectly normal, mild, helpful rejection slip, and for that you accuse the publisher of being bad, bad, bad.

You will almost certainly, if you get over the accusing bit for something silly like this, receive far, far worse rejection slips. That's life. If you're smart, you'll learn from them and try to do better next time around. if you're not smart, your ego will get in the way and you'll start accusing whoever sent the perfectly normal and very mild rejection slip of being a bad bad person because they don't like your writing and had the gall to tell you so.