Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Right "Fit"

I'm becoming convinced that the biggest criteria, the greatest factor in getting published is the right "fit." The right work fitting the right agent/publisher at the right time. It all sounds very cosmic, doesn't it? And maybe it is...

Sure, there are other things that matter: the work must be grammatically-correct, compelling, original, strong. But even so, if an agent/publisher doesn't handle your type of genre, then those things are suddenly and utterly moot.

It's like trying on a pair of jeans. Sometimes it takes dozens of "try-ons" before we KNOW - "This is the one! A perfect fit!" But here's the thing -- the ones we discard in the process might have been so close, but in the end, just weren't right. It doesn't even mean they were inferior. It might only mean they weren't THE ONE.

In some ways, this analogy is comforting. The notion that it's not the jeans' "fault" for not being selected. That it's more about the "fit," that it's out of the jeans' control, whether the fit is right or not. And -- that there's always the hope that if a pair of jeans is discarded on the shelf by one person, that the next person who picks them up to try them on could finally be "the one!"

I think if we see the publishing process in this light, we're a lot less likely to take things personally...


  1. Hey Traci!

    I love the jeans analogy. I always think of other things that can come into play, such as timing, or luck. Like the lighting is bad. The mirror's carnival crazy because you can't possibly be that tubby. You're bloated. Sometimes it's things we just can't control, you know?

  2. LOL! Yep, those are good examples of other "factors." So much of this (publishing) business seems out of our hands...

  3. That was a perfect analogy. Some of us like the boot cut, some of us like straight leg, and some of us (certainly not me!) can wiggle our way into skinny jeans. I think it is by remembering the "personal taste" nature of the business that allows us aspiring writers to retain our sanity.

  4. Trisha, I love that extra detail about the jeans. And I totally agree, it's definitely a matter of personal taste. Which makes the rejection process both easier and more difficult to handle, lol.