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rugcat
02-12-2013, 06:06 AM
A friend of mine had a ms rejected by a relatively small but prestigious press, which mostly publishes quality literary fiction.

It was a personal rejection and complimentary about the writing, but included the phrase "perhaps a little middle-market, so not quite right for us."

I've never seen the phrase "middle market" in reference to a book. It's an investment and business term, of course, but I'm not quite sure what it means in this context.

Anyone ever heard or seen seen this in regards to a ms??

Cyia
02-12-2013, 07:11 AM
Maybe they meant mid-list?

Other than that, I've got no idea.

benbenberi
02-12-2013, 06:21 PM
I would take that to mean, not literary, but not trashy.

Jamesaritchie
02-12-2013, 06:50 PM
Never heard the phrase.

Susan Littlefield
02-12-2013, 07:43 PM
Maybe the term indicates that they don't know what genre to put it in? I've never heard the term before either.

rugcat
02-12-2013, 09:57 PM
I would take that to mean, not literary, but not trashy.That would be my guess as well. I just thought perhaps it was a standard publishing term that somehow I'd never heard. Guess not, though.

Phaeal
02-13-2013, 05:17 PM
I would translate it to "mainstream."

Buffysquirrel
02-13-2013, 05:47 PM
Insufficiently obscure.

dangerousbill
02-13-2013, 08:50 PM
It was a personal rejection and complimentary about the writing, but included the phrase "perhaps a little middle-market, so not quite right for us."


Why don't you ask them what it means, now that you're reasonably sure that there are other writers out here who are equally puzzled?

For all you know, it may have been read by some intern in their office, who screwed up the terminology, and really meant, 'mainstream'. But if there's a new jargon term going around, it behooves all of us to know about it.

rugcat
02-14-2013, 01:29 AM
Why don't you ask them what it means, now that you're reasonably sure that there are other writers out here who are equally puzzled?

For all you know, it may have been read by some intern in their office, who screwed up the terminology, and really meant, 'mainstream'. But if there's a new jargon term going around, it behooves all of us to know about it.No, it was a full, read by the editor-in-chief. I can't ask because I have nothing to do with the submission. The party involved doesn't want to ask, because it's not necessarily a good idea to ask an editor who has rejected a ms "What exactly do you mean by that? Explain yourself."

ishtar'sgate
02-15-2013, 03:07 AM
Perhaps they mean it won't have a broad enough appeal to the reading public. Some publishers are niche publishers and know their list appeals to a specific corner of the market. Could they mean that?

Finis
02-15-2013, 03:24 AM
Throwing my hat in for, "not right for our small, prestigious, literary imprint, why don't you try something more mainstream?"

Which in my mind, is a compliment, and was probably intended as a compliment if it came with a hand written note from the EiC of the imprint.

But it does seem amusing to think of it in the context of Hipster Editor, "It's so middle market -- What, you've never hear of middle marke?, It's probably too underground for you."