Corazon de Leon wrote:After being down on my academic prospects earlier I got the results of two blind peer reviews for my book proposal.
They were, weirdly, complete polar opposites. One of them said my writing sample was "lucid and engaging," noted they would be happy to accept the proposal with a few tweaks and the dropping of a section, and would even put their name to an endorsement of the final manuscript that could be used to publicise the book.
The second one called my writing uninspiring, and reckons I rely on cliches too much. Said there was no point to the book I was proposing, and because I have no peer-reviewed articles under my belt yet, I'm not qualified to take on a project of the magnitude I'm suggesting. The PhD I've earned is, apparently, chopped liver.
The editor says she's still very much interested in the proposal and that the in-depth nature of the negative comments indicates promising material. The the series editor of the book line they're looking to have me publish under also seems to still be on-board, so they want me to have a look at the comments, chat to them about what we can change, revise and resubmit.
So yeah I don't really know how to feel about this one.
Try to look at the positives. One of the peer reviews was very positive and the editor is still interested. The other one seems to be focusing on you not having peer-reviewed articles - so strawberry floating what? Did JK Rowling have any peer-reviewed articles published before she made that book about the speccy wizard?
You are never going to get 100% across the board praise, that doesn't happen to anyone or anything. Name any of the most popular and/or critically acclaimed things in the world and I bet I could find a negative review. Name any of the most unpopular/critically reviled things in the world and I bet I could find a positive review.
I would listen to your editors, take the criticism as advice on how to improve your work and try not to take things to heart (easier said than done!).