Slush Pile, Reject
I think what she said in the article is so true -- for both the writer and the editor/publisher.
I think that's the biggest gap we have between editors and writers. Writers see their works as their heart and soul and very personal (I mean, even a matter-of-fact nonfiction piece). A writer's byline is going to go with the work, so of course it's personal. The editors, on the other hand, see only words. Are they well written? Is the story interesting? Would anyone want to buy and read it? They're readers' advocates. I mean think about it: When you-the-reader go to a book store, pick up a book and buy it, how often do you wonder: "Hey, what is the author like? Is he or she a good person? How many children she has?..." Not really, right? We, as readers, only care about if the story is interesting. If the book is good, then we would say: "Wow, Hemingway is a good writer." But we still don't know anything or care about Hemingway. Okay, maybe after we become fans (or stalkers) of the author.
Just a thought. I've been on both sides of the fence. It's still not easy for the writer in me to accept that I don't matter to them as a person. But that's just reality in this weird business of publishing, and the editor in me gets it.
Many writers write from the writer's perspective. There's nothing wrong with that. But if we can simply write from the readers' expectations, I think we'll have a much better time getting our words out and a better chance to get them accepted. If being published and selling a lot of books are your goals.
The following quote simply hit the nail in the head:
Thus the reader-mind in action. If you-the-writer can catch that readers attention with an intriguing premise, and further seduce them with well-written prose as they go flipping through the pages, there's some chance they'll buy it. If they like the book, next time around you'll be one of the author names they'll be looking for. And if they really like the book, or if they've read and enjoyed two or three of your books, they may begin to wonder about you as a person. But not before.