I recently rejected a work via email and got this in response:
I can’t blame you. Since I sent you the proposal, I fired the anal-retentive editor who I hired to help me write it and in the process sucked every bit of my personality out of it to make it a “best seller,” as he claimed. I have rewritten it in a completely different voice. I don’t suppose you want to give it another trial, but if you do, let me know. If not, thanks for reading the first version. It was dry and boring, and I apologize for putting you through it. At times, even a seasoned businessman gets blindsided by the promise of fame.
What a great response and something we can all learn from. Editorial comments (whether from a hired editor, agents, your own editor, or a critique group) are wonderful, but we all need to follow our own voice and our own hearts first. The comments aren’t going to do anyone any good if they suck the life out of the book.
BTW—I didn’t ask to see the book a second time, but I do suspect I’ll see it on Publisher’s Lunch very soon.