Friday, January 28, 2011
Blog Flog! Not Following Rules Tells The Editors and Agents Something About You!
Now, before I get started today, I want to stress that editors and agents are not rejecting people simply because of a writer's lack of ability to follow the rules, but...the odds are you have highly damaged any chance that we will want to read more of your project or sign you.
I have said this before, but I will say it again. "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." Sending a project to an editor or agent and not doing what they ask for is a sure sign that you have a hard time either A) reading; or B) following directions.
I bring this up after a round of reading submissions yesterday. I created an online form for those writers that, for some reason feel they can't writer a query letter. Now I won't get started on the fact that the form has all of the material that you would have in a query but... In any case, the form has specific spots for a writer to fill in the information. I tell them what I want and the specific guidelines. And still they miss it.
TITLE - I had authors names, I had people inserting the genre, I had people inserting log lines.
WORD COUNT - This one still gets me. I state that stories must be at least 75,000 words unless targeting a Harlequin line; and yet, I am always having someone insert word counts below that, or stated in page numbers? Huh? Oh, and yes, I have seen people insert other material such as log lines here.
GENRE - Now I understand that some people may be confused about their genres. They might wonder if their story is paranormal or urban fantasy. However, I have had people tell me it is one genre and then hit the Additional Information section and tell me it is something else. Not working for me.
The deal is this. You might honestly have the next best novel out there. You might be a future billionaire author. But if you can't follow directions for a submission, what does this tell the editor or agent about your ability to take directions from them?
Have a great weekend!