Rethinking the Slush Pile
On the first day of my new job in the editorial department of a small publishing house, I found a note from my predecessor. "Open all unsolicited manuscripts," it read. "Log them in the slush pile book. Read them and reject them." It was 1984.
Twenty-one years later, the climate appears to be changing. Publishers are increasingly alert to sources of undiscovered gems that in the past might have slipped through the net. The slush pile is one, word of mouth another, as well as books being launched by risk-taking small or independent publishers. Some of these titles are successful in their own right, while others are taken up by mainstream publishers.