Wednesday, July 17, 2013

So I'm glad the second email came second...

Two responses today for the book.
First, I got a nice email that began:
"Many thanks again for forwarding the materials, which I have now been able to read over.  I remain interested in the project, and would suggest fleshing out the proposal a bit in a few key areas." The editor goes on to ask good questions and give some relatively minor tweaks to the proposal (none of this is saying it goes anywhere, just that the proposal is more or less okay).  I had sent her the short version of the proposal, so sent the long one to her with thanks; she responded thanking me.  So that was interaction one.
Email two began with--looks okay for a dissertation, but needs work (to which I mouth "duh!").  Then it goes on to say that the topic isn't broad enough to be marketable. She wants a comparativ analysis of another Jewish life-cycle event, or for me to move out of the SF area, or compare Bar/Bat Mitzvah to first communion. She then says: "You can of course shop the dissertation to other publishers as is – you could get lucky. But I kinda doubt it."
Now that's just wrong.  And I feel really lucky that two publishers are interested in seeing more--and don't think it needs to be broadened. And this wasn't a house I really wanted anyway.  But really--I'm kind of blown away by the casualness of the email. She clearly didn't read the chapter (or not carefully...or not the methodology)--unlike the first editor, who referred to it--and the idea that because she didn't like it, no one else would?! Who does that?  How tacky!
I'm not upset--actually rather pleased she though my writing was okay, because it feels pretty dead to me right now--but I do get how much of a crap-shoot the whole thing is.

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