Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Common Reasons For Rejections

Obviously this list is not the ultimate guide to rejections, but it might certainly give you some ideas of why many authors receive those ugly rejection letters. I should also note that this list most likely includes those famous authors we always like to reference when we talk about the number of rejection letters they got (Seuss, Rowling and so forth...)

SENT TO THE WRONG PERSON This one goes back to the same thing I have said here over and over again. You have to do your research. Your writing doesn't fit with every person out there. Each publishing house and each agency has a unique voice and characteristic. But, this idea can be extended even further when it comes to individuals within the agency or publishing house. Each editor has a unique voice. This is all an issue of matching your writing with the right person.

For example, if an editor tends to buy the hot steamy stories, the odds are your "sweet romance" is not going to be something they especially like. There will simply be no connection with the reader and therefore...rejection letter!

DIDN'T READ THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES This one is key. If the person you are sending the manuscript to has a specific word count or list of genres they are interested in, failing to meet those guidelines will result in a rejection. For example, at Greyhaus, the minimum word count for a single title romance is 75,000. Sending me a single title that is 50,000 will be a rejection. Yes, I will look to see if the story will fit a category line, but in all honesty, if you don't know what your story is, the odds are the writing will reflect that.

AVERAGE WRITING This is a sign of the times. There are so many authors out there right now, and yes, the market is still struggling (although we are improving). People are still deciding between buying milk and buying a book. This means we see a trickle down to the writers.

In the past, editors were able to buy books they liked. Now, editors are looking for books that they have to love. Taking a risk on an author is just too risky with the market as volatile as it is. Your writing can be fine. The premise can be OK, but if that is all it is, the odds are you will be seeing a rejection.

SPAMMING EDITORS AND AGENTS We all know everyone does multiple submissions. That's fine. But, one of the biggest reasons we reject people is when we see that you have simply sent the query out to us along with a ton of other editors and agents. Dear agent, editor and/or publisher style letters means you haven't even bothered to see if this is what we want. In the end - rejection.

Don't get me wrong. We do look at the quality of the writing, but these mistakes are ones you can simply control.

Just a nice friendly reminder.


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