Originally Posted by A&A
Which is really sad.............the quality of the book should matter more than who you know.
I'd be wary of assuming that any author's rejection record is the result of connections or lack thereof. Having a connection can get an author straight on to an editor's desk for a first reading, rather than into the dreaded slushpile. Having a connection won't necessarily get an author anything else.
Whether or not a publisher accepts a book isn't just a function of whether the book is good. It's also a question of whether the book fits the publisher's line, whether the publisher believes it can effectively market the book, and what the publisher's schedule looks like - will they be able to get the book into stores in the next three years, or are they already committed to bringing out as many books as they can afford to in that time? A bestseller like Harry Potter can drive a small publisher into bankruptcy, because the costs of production (printing a huge run, distribution, publicity, etc.) are too high for the rest of the publisher's business to support or for the publisher to sustain. A small press editor might pass on a book because they can only publish it into relative obscurity and there is obviously a larger market (if HP had only had a print run of 10,000, no one would pay attention). She was pretty clear up front about it being a seven book series, which is a huge commitment for any publisher, and Scholastic had serious financial problems as a result of the time it took her to deliver book 4 - a small press could have been driven under. Authors often can't determine what the market for their work really is, or what publishers will best be able to market it. It's not an author's job to determine that - it's an author's job to write. Market research is a full-time endeavor of a different kind.
I'm not saying that the industry isn't screwed up in any number of ways, but JKR's 12 rejections aren't an indication of that.
(Sorry for the pedantry. I get frustrated sometimes by the misconceptions that people have about the industry.)