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A shout out to all you writers and passion seekers

This post was written by Angela
on August 15, 2011 | Comments (9)

Being an acquisitions editor is pretty darn cool… being an acquisitions editor at Llewellyn is even better! I thought I could say that after week one, but held my tongue so I’d have a little more credibility and hopfully wouldn’t sound false about it. For anyone interested in an insider’s peek, here’s a little nugget:

Beyond the stellar company (business and people) it’s the writers that keep this place ticking. I am constantly made aware of new interests that unknowingly¬†live on the outer¬†bourndaries of my already existing passions.¬†As the typical Llewellyn-type audience,¬†I crave growth and have entered into a free-fall¬†of knowledge. Some days are crazy juggling acts¬†of managing meetings, taking phone calls, keeping up with email messaging,¬†writing up¬†contacts, reading submissions, and working through manuscripts. It can be a whirlwind, but what holds it all together for me is the immersion into stories of hope,¬†empowerment, and¬†new discovery and the people who¬†stand behind those stories in order to inspire others.¬†Being able to act as a support through their process to publication is, like I said, pretty darn cool.

As a writer and artist who’s seen the bumpy road to acceptance, I can also understand and appreciate the flip side of this acquisitions¬†role. Through the creative process you, as the writer, have¬†pushed aside fear to expose a bit of your heart and soul for judgement and possibly even rejection. I don’t care who you are, in my book that’s brave.

So after a year or four or more, you have heart and soul printed and bound in your hands. You send it out into the world and instead of rainbows, unicorns, and fireworks, you get a single paged letterhead announcing that your heart and soul just aren’t quite right. *Ouch* I know that feeling. I’ve been there. No matter how nice, encouraging, or even helpful¬†this notice may attempt to be, at its core¬†it’s a rejection and that’s sometimes all that you can see. Your dream¬†becoms a distant blur and¬†your road ends there.

But what if you had sent¬†your work¬†to me instead of that other publisher and I would have sent you rainbows and unicorns and fireworks? Or if I was the one who closed your door with that sad letterhead (sorry about that…), what if the publisher next door would have started dancing a jig over it? If you gave up at one, number two never had the chance. Case in point, Kathryn Stockett,¬†bestselling author of¬†The Help stood her ground through sixty rejections (full story here). Yes, I said SIXTY. Before reading her story I couldn’t have imagined me or anyone else persisting long enough to reach acceptance at magical sixty-one. Stockett shows that sometimes it’s all about finding the right fit and after considering the titles I am working with, I sure hope those authors would have persisted, too. It would be a shame for their work not to have made it into the hands that are ready and waiting for it.

In the end, from acquisition editor to writer, thank you for your courage! Through that sometimes up and down process, consider the advice that comes your way and don’t lose the heart and soul that started it all. If I happen to be¬†one of¬†your¬†stepping stones on the bumpy road to acceptance, hopefully hearing a story like Stockett’s will tide you over until someone finally dances that jig for you. Until then…

Reader Comments

Written By Corrine Kenner
on August 15th, 2011 @ 9:26 am

Good post, Angela! Thanks for the encouragement. The graphics are pretty great, too. ;-D

Written By Diana Rajchel
on August 16th, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

I think of rejection as an initiatory process. It’s much like going to the synagogue when you want to convert: if you’re serious, you’ll brush up your act and come back a few times.

Written By Angela
on August 17th, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

Diana, I love your attitude!
Corrine, thank you… I’m a visual person and just couldn’t pass up the excuse for using a unicorn in a blog post!

Written By AstroHerbalist
on August 18th, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

What a warm and welcoming post Angela! It indeed must be so uplifting and challenging to be in acquisitions. Honestly, I don’t know how you do it! Luckily we have people like YOU to bring it all together for the good of all! ūüôā

Written By Barbara Graver
on August 19th, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

Thank you for the encouraging post. I admire the perseverance of writers like Kathryn Stockett. It is nice to know that perseverance can pay!

Written By Carmen Waterman
on August 23rd, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

Thanks for your supportive and inspiring post. It is so heartwarming to be able to connect with the person behind the role of “acquisition editor.”


Written By Angela
on October 12th, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

Now, after having read “most” of Stockett’s book, I find it humorously coincidental that an acquisitions editor plays a key (at times exciting, at times frustrating) role in the book. How appropriate.

Written By Shawn Tassone, MD
on November 1st, 2011 @ 1:24 am

I truly appreciate your POV because you have seen it from both sides. It’s hard to look at a publisher and say, “I would love to be a part of that team” and they say not right now. I suppose it all works out for the best because you want someone that loves it as much as you do in the end. It’s beautiful to find that place that loves your work and you love theirs. Thanks again for the encouragement.


  1. Carmen Waterman  on August 23rd, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

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