Well, I’ve been an angry robot for 3 weeks, now, and this is my first post (expect a lot more in future). I meant to post a “Hi, I’m Lee” message a couple of weeks ago, but things have been extraordinarily busy over the last few weeks.
It already feels like I’ve been here for months, but in a good way. Setting up a new publishing division was always going to be hard work. Luckily, Marco has been beavering away behind the scenes for the last few months, so I was able to walk into a role that straight away had plenty of work for me. Also, of course, as part of Harper Collins we have many back-end systems in place so we don’t need to invent everything from scratch.
I’ve been diligently working my way through the substantial submissions pile, and I’ve been struck by how high the overall quality of the writing is. There are very few novels rejected because the quality of writing isn’t good enough (though, inevitably there are some). Many of our rejections are due to the fact that the manuscripts (or proposals) just aren’t quite what we’re looking for. Indeed, two of the novels that we had to reject (for not being genre-enough) are of such high quality that I’ll be actively looking out for them when they do find a publisher, and buying a copy for myself.
It’s a sobering thought to think that sometimes, being excellent just isn’t enough.