Thursday, June 18, 2020

Today's Publishing World Needs Educated and Professional Writers

I was talking about this with another agent a couple of days ago and then I had a string of new submissions show up today so I felt it was time to bring this up and call attention to this. If you are an author and finding very little success out there as you trying to find an agent, get published through traditional routes, or find that the self-publishing thing is not going the way you want, it might be you.

The reality is that so many of the submissions I turn away are simply not well written. Characters are flat. Plot lines are contrived. Dialogue is stilted. Cliches all over the place. And, if it is not that, stories just are not marketable due to the content, the limited focus, the length of the story (too long or too short).

And if it is not that, the authors are clearly not aware of a professional approach to publishing. Many authors simply do not know how to read directions, follow guidelines, write an appropriate query letter, let alone a business letter.

When we go to conferences and listen to pitches, authors bumble around, show up looking like they were coming from the gym or getting ready to go to the grocery.

And then they wonder why their books are not published.

Here is another example. I am part of a group online that discusses publishing. One author was frustrated because no agent wanted her book. She had a large target group, but simply did not understand that a population did not mean they would buy things. It would be like saying, my target group are people who own compact cars and I have a book teaching people who to use space wisely in the car. Would people really buy this book? No.

So why did this person think it was a good idea? No one had taught her and/or she did not go out to learn about marketing.

Here's another one... I have this author who continually submits projects to me. Every time she has submitted she has gotten a rejection letter stating two things. First, this is not the genre I represent and here is the link; and secondly, please submit only what I am asking for. She has, over and over, typed this hastily written note (not a business letter) and then embedded the synopsis and first 100+ pages. No effort to change formatting and certainly not learning from the advice given. So, with today's submission, you tell me what letter she will get? Another rejection.

But supposedly people are teaching authors, right? Again, I found an article online that was proclaiming all of this great educational information. EVERY link was just connecting someone to e-pub marketing plans.  But what about conferences? Again, all they hype up are issues of how to self-pub, how to market but nothing on craft anymore.

Until writers recognize that their lack of success is due to not knowing AND THEN they do something about it, those rejections will continue.

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