Tag Archives: what publishers really mean

What publishers really mean in their rejection letters

You see Barbara? It's not all dogs here.

Not that I’d know myself, you understand. Well, er, except maybe a wee bit… I guess it applies to agents too.

Jonny Geller‘s piece in the Guardian this week pulled back the curtain of euphemism and laid bare the squatting toad of honesty. He’s been tweeting the real meaning of phrases that publishers use to say Get Stuffed under the hashtag #publishingeuphemisms – glib phrases translated below:

“this is too literary for our list” (it’s boring)

“the novel never quite reached the huge potential of its promise” (your pitch letter was better than the book)

“sadly we are publishing a book similar to this next spring” (it too has a beginning, middle and end)

“You should join Twitter” (we are not spending a dime on your publicity) – that one came from the US

“we all fell in love with the book” (my assistant took your manuscript home and has now lost it)

“do you think we need the back story? (I hated the first twenty chapters.)

 “In a way I think the back story IS the story” (I hated the last twenty chapters.) Continue reading

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