While it is understandable that every author would prefer to receive a personalized response regarding their submissions, as a small publisher that only releases 10-12 books a year, Nitis Books simply does not have the time to respond personally to each and every submission — nor are we alone:
- Lack of Time — As noted in the articles The Three Kinds of Rejection Letters and Why Can’t the Editor Give me Some Feedback? most publishers simply don’t have the time for personalized declines. Their time is best spent evaluating those very few manuscripts that manage to strike a chord with one or more of the editors.
- Lack of “Zing” — As author and former agent Nathan Bransford says in his article Why I Write Vague Rejection Letters:
“If I’m passing on a partial, chances are it’s because I’m just not feeling that zing that I feel whenever I’m reading something I’m going to want to take on. It’s just not for me. But I’m not always able to articulate precisely why exactly that is, and I haven’t read enough to be able to provide a particularly insightful critique. If I am just not feeling it and don’t know why, I’d rather be vague than say something just to say something. I’d hate for my just-to-say-something reason to cause the writer to try and revise based on faulty advice.”
- Supply & Demand — As noted in the article The Real Reason You’re Getting Rejections, there are hundreds of writers competing for each publishing slot, and while your query and your book may be just fine and plenty of people would enjoy it, there are so many other queries in the queue that publishers aren’t biting.
- Author Aversion to Criticism of Any Kind — As noted in the article Why You Get Form Rejections, some authors do not respond well to critique (even when they say they want feedback). They try to argue about the rejection and cannot let it pass, draining editors of time, energy — and any good intentions they may have harbored in taking the time to craft a personal response.
For all of these reasons, most publishers choose to simply send out form rejection notices. If you are looking for a critique of your work, there are many writing forums and editing services that can provide you with detailed feedback on your work.
Posted in: Manuscript Submission FAQ