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The myth that quality sells : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

The myth that quality sells

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kamalayka
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The myth that quality sells

Postby kamalayka » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:30 am

There's this myth that all you need to do is write a good story to get an editor's attention. It's sounds cool, but so many classic novels had been rejected, sometimes with cruel mockery on the part of the editor, before finally being published. I've read about award-winning short stories that had received dozens of form rejections before being published. My own first story sale came after twenty or so rejections.

So where does this myth come from? I've seen enough stellar stories rejected from the slush pile to know that it's not so easy as writing a good story and submitting. You need to be damn lucky that the guy reading your story isn't tired, or distracted, in a bad mood, or hates a detail in your story enough to anger him, or ten thousand other hurdles slush writers need to overcome.

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shadowwalker
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Re: The myth that quality sells

Postby shadowwalker » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:07 am

Well, to get published you do have to write a good story. But after that, yes, there are other factors as well. You may have sent it to the wrong agent for your genre; they may have already accepted 1 or more similar stories; their "docket" is full until the next publishing cycle; your query letter stunk; yada yada yada.

But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. :D
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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Oldtimer
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Re: The myth that quality sells

Postby Oldtimer » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:18 pm

Read samples of my Martian series (by Dorothy Piper) and two romances (by Joni Havel) on Smashwords.
Hard copies of all are on Amazon.

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cynicalwanderer
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Re: The myth that quality sells

Postby cynicalwanderer » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:42 pm

"Build it and they will come."
"I've stopped giving advice. Even when people ask for it, they resent getting it." -Ross Macdonald.

shamrock.9967
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Re: The myth that quality sells

Postby shamrock.9967 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:52 pm

This is absolutely the case. Years back I read the lead story in one of the O Henry Award issues and author said it had been rejected something like 43 times before it was accepted. It's as bad as the Olympic judging. Might as well draw straws to determine a winner or who gets published.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: The myth that quality sells

Postby James A. Ritchie » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:05 pm

It is not a myth. Quality always sells. Just because something gets rejected one, or one thousand times, does not in any way mean it's a myth that quality sells. Just because quality sells does not mean a given story is right for every magazine or every publisher. Thinking that means you don't know anything about the publishing industry.

And you seem to be overlooking the fact that each and every story you mention did sell. Quality always sells somewhere. But not every magazine wants the same content, not every publisher wants the same content, and not every editor is a god judge of quality. Some quality always finds a home, always sells. Always, as long as the writer does his or her part. If it did, we'd have stacks and stacks, reams and reams, rooms and rooms, full of quality material that never sold. We don't. The hardest thing in the world to find is a good story that never sold somewhere. When the extremely rare one is found, I can guarantee it never sold because the writer never submitted it to enough places, or to any places, or had a clue what he was doing in the submission process.

"Quality doesn't sell" is almost always just another way of saying "I can't sell a story". Quality does sell. Always has, and always will. This does not mean quality will sell to any magazine, or any publisher, regardless of how poorly it fits. It does mean that quality will always find a home, and if it really is quality, the general readership will make it last forever.

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DrG2
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Re: The myth that quality sells

Postby DrG2 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:30 pm


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nhope
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Re: The myth that quality sells

Postby nhope » Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:41 pm


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shadowwalker
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Re: The myth that quality sells

Postby shadowwalker » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:49 pm

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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polis1
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Re: The myth that quality sells

Postby polis1 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:44 pm



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