I recently worked with an editor from a midsize publishing house; for several months we went back and forth with revisions on my novel. No contract promised, but as long as his suggestions tightened the novel, I was all for playing along. At the end of it, I had a YA novel that was "the bomb," but he called to say that he ran it past the "money people" and they turned it down. So what I want to know is: jerking my chain? Are there "money people" that stare at passionate editors with glazed eyes and slowly shake their heads no? Or was he just saying that it still wasn't good enough after I had rewritten approximately 700,000 words and created a heroine with the deep, complex qualities of an excellent stew?
The Money People can and regularly do shoot down ideas editors have put a lot of time and effort into. This stage can be called "the boss said no" "the acquisitions committee said no" "the sales team said no" "the editorial board said no".
Getting an editor to yes is good, but it's not the final step.
We've all lost deals at that stage and it's never fun. It's sort of like being the third runner up at Miss America--no crown, no chance to step in if Miss America is found to have lesbian love bunny pics in her past, not even if the first runner up does too.
However, you have a better novel now. Go sell it to someone else. Making the best seller list is the revenge of choice on "the filthy lucre-tias".