Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It's Another Reminder - Read the Submission Guidelines: A BLOG FLOG!

So, this last weekend I spent a few hours going though submissions, One of the submissions came from an author who had already submitted to me in the past. I don't mind when authors resubmit. I am always hoping to see growth. But here is the issue:
  • The first submission was for a genre I do not represent. I clearly stated that in the reply which always comes with my digital signature that includes the link to my web page where the guidelines are also posted.
  • The second submission was for another genre I do not represent. I again replied stating that it would be a good idea to review the submission guidelines.
But then here comes a third one. At this point, we are hoping that authors have figured things out. But noooooo! This is for a project ALSO in a genre I don't even remotely represent.

Again, I reply back stating that it is not a genre I represent and he should indeed review the submission guidelines, 

For this person, I also went on to note that editors and agents only represent certain genres. We do this because of our expertise in the field, our interest, or simply (in the case of editors) this is the position we were hired for. We don't limit our genres because we are closed minded our out to screw the dedicated author and their personal voice.

But wait, this gets better. 

The reply I get is:

I am merely an author trying to break through ice thin of thick, therefore, I am asking for one final review. Though, yes, you have spoken, but it only seems beneficial to reach out once more. As I'm sure many people probably annoy you with similar request in their grave attempts for contract & publication, but maybe you'd be willing to spare the time? And yes, I take into full understanding you are very busy w/ a multiple of clients, projects & other varieties to which you owe me nothing. I'm simply trying to reach out one last time.

There are several things to address here:

THE AUTHOR IS IGNORING, ONCE AGAIN THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES - I find it interesting that the author is ignoring the real reason I rejected the project. When you send something that is not what we represent, we let you know. Now I do know some editors and agents will not let you know because this information is clearly available in multiple sources, but Greyhaus does let you know. There is simply nothing beneficial about "reading out once more" and wanting "one final review". Agents are not here as a review service. There are plenty of review services with editors who will do this. In the end, the real issue is - if you do get a reason why the editor or agent rejected you, then follow those guidelines.

THE AUTHOR IS RELYING ON EMOTION AND NOT PROFESSIONALISM Look, this is a business and we are looking for writers with a sense of professionalism. This will also include letters that demonstrate how this person will act and behave in public when it is time to market their projects. When we see someone relying on the the fallacies of "Appealing to Pity" and "Appealing to Emotions", these are huge red flags. How will this person react when we send revision letters? How will this person act when there is a not so positive review.

Last week, I spent time talking about what I look for in a submission. This is that element I spoke of when we discussed reviewing the submission for who the author is. 

THIS IS A REASON WHY MANY AGENTS DON'T SEND REJECTION LETTERS It is this reason that many agents limit how much, if any information they send back to an author in a rejection letter. This also includes why they don't respond when you want to discuss the book further after a rejection, or you try to argue it. This leaves the door open for someone to start swamping the mail email with more reasons and justifications. 

I should also add that this is why contests such as the RITA and the GOLDEN HEART eliminated the comments from the preliminary judges. There were too many, shall I dare use the word, "psycho" authors out there who went ballistic over a rejection. 

So, what did we learn from this today? If you are thinking of replying to a rejection, letter, make sure you know what you are doing before you hit send. What is the message you are sending to that editor or agent. Along the same lines, I want you to make sure you review those submission guidelines of the editors and agents. This is not rocket science people! 

* * *

And some final notes. First of all, it is a shame this author, as well as those other authors out there who continually send projects without reading the submission guidelines don't read this blog. Maybe if they spent some more time doing their research and learning the business, they might find some more success. And secondly, this weekend 34% of the submissions I received were for projects in genres I didn't represent. They got letters back from me and hopefully they won't do what this author decided to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment