Monday, October 7, 2013

You Are Wasting Your Time And Money If You Don't Do Your Research

I received a submission last week and I thought this would be a great opportunity to show all of you why you seriously need to do your research before you send out a project. Please understand this was a snail mail submission, but much of the same ideas that I am talking about apply to those of you using e-queries.

First of all, the agents and editors out there are pretty clear about what they want in terms of projects and submissions. This information is very public knowledge and can be found both in print and on the Internet. For myself here at Greyhaus, I have really made every effort I can to help out by stating in all of the public forums out there that you should review the information on my website to make sure you know what I want, what I don't want and what to submit. I am not unique in this. It is all out there.

Now, let's talk about this submission. And yes, this deserves a BLOG FLOG!

1) The author has submitted a trilogy of "young adult, fantasy adventures"

This is directly from my website:

Single Title Inspirational
YA or Middle Grade
Picture Books
Urban Fantasy
Science Fiction
Authors interested in only e-publishing or self-publishing
Works that have already been published.

I am not sure how much clearer I can be. NO FANTASY AND NO YA, so this person has a double strike already.

But here is where the author starts to take a hit!

2) The cost. I calculated what this package probably cost him to send it to me. Here is the breakdown:
  • Copy costs for 50 pages of back to back material, comb binding, clear front cover and plastic cover in back: $17.79 (according to a rough estimate from FEDEX/KINKOS).
  • Two "Ready Post" envelopes: $4.77 each
  • Postage for the return SASE $3.60
  • Postage for the main shipping envelope: $4.77
Total cost for this bad boy? $34.40

3) The odds are this person is mass mailing - So we have to consider this person has probably made a wonderful trip to the post office with, I don't know, 20 of these proposals?  That would mean $688.00 out of pocket expense.

4) Could he have made his own copies? Sure, but now let's calculate the cost of the printer cartridges...

5) How many rejection letters will he receive? The funny part is probably not as many as he shipped out. Why? Because there are many agents out there that wouldn't waste the time, or their money for that one sheet of paper to write a rejection letter to someone who hasn't done their research.

Look, I get it, the submission process is tough. But, the information is out there to prevent you wasting your time and money.

I have said this before and I am going to say this again.

  • Do your research.
  • Know what the editors and agents want.
  • Send them just what they want.
  • Don't query people that don't fit your project.
It really is that simple!!!!

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