Re: RARA-AVIS: My Unfair Lady

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 17 May 2007


I thought you made these same points clearly in your original comments. In fact, I thought you showed why and how it is so easy to overlook a worthy manuscript.

By definition, most work is bound to be mediocre. As standards rise, so does the level of mediocrity. It's a statistical truism.

Best, Kerry

At 10:29 AM 17/05/2007, Kevin Burton Smith wrote:

>Several of the responses to my post about the perceived "unfairness"
>of publishers-- including the private messages full of the usual
>insults and typical hyper-ventilated posturing -- were exactly as I
>But they don't negate a single thing I said.
>I NEVER said publishers were infallible.
>YES, they make mistakes.
>YES, they pass up on gems and publish duds. That's not news. Or
>anything new. I covered all that in my original post.
>But the question I was responding to was: "Is it fair?"
>And the answer is still "YES."
>It's THEIR money. Publishers should be allowed to publish the books
>and stories THEY think they can sell, whether they're some massive
>unfeeling super conglomerate based in New York or some hole-in-the-
>wall indy joint in Squibbley-on-the-Thames or Thickneck, Nebraska (or
>even some dinky little cyber fart like THRILLING DETECTIVE floating
>out there in the ether).
>Any half-way decent publisher that isn't an outright vanity press or
>pay-to-play entity rejects far more than they publish. And most of
>what they reject suffers from far more than a simple lack of
>commercial viability.
>Anyone who thinks differently is fooling themselves. Or trying to
>make themselves feel better.
>It's not that I'm unsympathetic. I've received my own share of
>rejections over the years, and I know several writers who deserve
>better than they've been getting from the publishing industry. Some
>of them are even on this list.
>But that doesn't mean the industry is necessarily unfair -- just that
>it's a hard, tough racket. You need talent and perseverance and Lady
>Luck smiling at you 24/7 to make it.
>But the more talent and perseverance you have, the less you have to
>rely on -- or resort to blaming -- that bitch.
>Or those oh-so-unfair publishers.

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