Monday, May 31, 2010

On Submitting To Agents and Editors

I thought I had better bring this up for all of you with your fingers at the ready to send off submissions to Greyhaus tomorrow.


No, this doesn't mean I am extending the no submission policy. Things will be open tomorrow, but I think that too many of you, who plan on rushing this submission out to me might be missing something. Publishing is not a matter of speed but quality. We say this over and over again, but we are all looking for amazing stories. Unpublished authors have a tough challenge before them and that writing needs to be beyond amazing. Remember, if I think "maybe" it is really a "rejection."

I was reading the article from Molly O'Keefe in the the latest edition of the RWR and she really nails a point that applies here. She quotes Pam Hopkins who states, "I can't tell you how many proposals I have seen that are well written, smooth and strong, but have no voice or life in them. At the other extreme, in an effort to stand out, writers completely forget what line they are writting for. It's unique and different but completely inapporpriate for X line." While she was dealing with category writing, the same goes for all publishers and all agents out there.

I honestly try to be as open as possible in terms of what I am looking for in a story, and, like Pam, I get stories that apparently someone has not done their research, doesn't understand their research, or completely forgot it when he or she wrote the story. The premise alone is one of those things I openly say I don't want or don't like.

If you want a contract with me or with any other editor or agent, then take your time. Make sure you are sending us exactly what we want and it is the best you can send. Time is only of the essence when we say we need it yesterday! Those situations are rare, but they do happen. Your job as a writer is to send me something that forces me to not fire off that rejection letter within 30 seconds of reading it.

I'm not reading anything until June 1st. If you are someone sending me something today, and it is timestamped for today, you will get my form letter, we are closed to submissions. You then get to start the whole process over. I don't care if it is less than 16 hours away from June 1st, I am not opening things up earlier.



  1. Fair enough; but do admit that not every new title published is as amazing as you describe.

    How, I wonder, do these less-than-amazing books get into the bookstores?