Hey, So What Do Publishers and Agents Want, Anyway?

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

Being an avid reader who keeps up with the bestsellers on the New York Times and Barnes & Noble lists, I naturally looked forward to reading Donna Tartt’s book, “The Goldfinch.” After all, it was awarded the Pulitzer and I’ve enjoyed this author’s books in the past. I can’t say I loved it. There were parts that had merit and parts that I had to read and re-read in order to get the point, and I still wasn’t sure if I had, in fact, gotten the point.  So many plot twists and turns seem contrived. Maybe more transitions were needed. The end is preachy and comes out of left field.

So, I’m left wondering, how did this book win such a coveted award? Okay, so, who am I to judge or disagree with the great powers that be? I decided to keep my opinions to myself, when a few months later, I read an article in Vanity Fair magazine bringing up the same issues that made my head spin. According to the article in the July 2014  issue “It’s Tartt-But Is It Art?”  by Evgenia Peretz, it turns out that the great critics are split down the middle about the merits of this book.

Many critics described it as juvenile and a virtual mess. On the flip side, just as many have only the highest praises. This brings me to my point, if a Pulitzer winner garners so much heated debate, how do we mere mortals find a niche in the publishing world when there’s so much disagreement on what constitutes excellence? It seems it’s the luck of the draw when submitting to publishers and agents. Standards often seem arbitrary, especially when we hear stories of best-selling authors who’ve been rejected upwards of forty times before getting a positive response from an agent. The moral of this story: Don’t Give Up. It only takes one voice from the sidelines to become our advocate in a swing vote, then, instant success! It should only be so easy.

© 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this content may be reprinted or used in any form without express permission of Elaine Donadio Writes.



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elyse
    Sep 02, 2014 @ 00:48:04

    Thought you might like this. I was going through the donations at the library and spotted a copy of “The Goldfinch” and was checking it’s condition for the collection. Guess what was written on the first blank page…
    “WARNING: Reading this book was a depressing waste of time. If you picked it up–put it back”! I couldn’t ‘t help but laugh snd think of you.
    Needless to say, it won’t be joining the collection.



  2. Elyse Roy
    Aug 11, 2014 @ 00:29:32

    Books are much like art; it doesn’t matter if the whole world says it’s a masterpiece…it might not be to everyone. I look forward to reading this one and sharing my opinion as well.



  3. Andrea Amodeo
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 18:47:25

    Well said!



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