Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blog Flog Time Again

Yes, I know I am preaching to the choir here, but I had to tell you this little story. Let me show you how many real Blog Flogs happen with this single event.

Blog Flog #1 - A couple of days ago, I received a submission in the mail. (I have stated I am closed to unsolicitied manuscripts on my website).
Blog Flog #2 - This author has spent $11.35 in postage to send me the complete manuscript for consideration (I clearly state again that if I get a submission, I would only look at a query or the first three pages of the project and never the full unless I request it. Again, I would also stress that I am closed to submissions). The point is this is $11.35 in postage, combined with the binding cost that come to $.10 per page (totally $28.90) and then $4.99 for the spiral bind, clear plastic cover and the black plastic back, for a grand total of $45.24.

I am going to assume this person has not just put all hope on a single submission to a single agent so you can do your math with this one.

But wait, there's more.

This person tells me in the query that he is finding it is almost impossible to get an editor or agent to review the submission.

But wait, there's more.

He/She openly notes that all of these publishers and literary agents have all of these complex submission processes and these are impossible to adapt to so therefore he/she is simply going to send things the way he/she wants. This is also followed up with a comment that time is of the essence and the work needs to be evaluated immediately (Blog Flog #3 - You follow the guidelines as they are there for a reason; and secondly, if time is of the essence, we need to know what that is, although the odds are this will not motivate us to read faster.

But wait, there's more.

BLOG FLOG #4 - When I look at the submission, this project is not a romance nor is it a women's fiction, that I only represent.

Now, I know that some of you are saying that accessing the internet might not be something that is feasible for everyone. You may have gotten the information from an outside publication such as THE GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS. But, with many of these external sites, the guidelines specifically say to look at the website to get the important submission guidelines. I also know that many of these sites also state what the literary agent is looking for.

Are these sites always accurate. NO! Much of that information is posted just from a single person taking the time once a year to scan various agencies and updating information. In other cases, the information is gathered from people who just happen to stumble across the information and post it.

I bring this up because this particular author stated numerous times in the query about how he/she is a business owner and is very successful. Part of business is market research. You have to know who you are sending things to and whether or not this is a market that is worth the investment. We want to keep expenditures lower than the income. For this author, this is $45.24 that was simply thrown away, assuming I am the only person the writer sent it to.

For this person, the writer "chose poorly".

As an author, it is up to you to do the research. If you use sites such as Query Tracker, or books such as THE GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS, use this simply as a jumping off point. Don't limit yourself.

Please learn from this one writer's huge financial error.

And, if you are this author, please note this is a pass on the project because A) I am closed to unsolicited manuscripts; and B) your project is not romance or women's fiction.


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