In a resent conversation with a fellow author, and dear friend, the topic of getting published came up. Yes, my friends know all conversations are fair game for my writing and blog. It seems my friend was upset because of a rude email she received from a publisher. Being the curious person I am I asked if I could see the email. What I read made me question her more than the publisher. The publisher in question simply stated for her to pay attention to the publishing guidelines prior to submission to them or any publisher. To further feed my curiosity I looked up the publishing guidelines on the publishers website. Clear as day it stated to submit the first three chapters of the manuscript and provided a simplistic form. What my friend sent was a note addressed as 'Dear Agent', information about needing to hurry up and find a publisher or else she would self publish, and several reviews. She even had the audacity to respond back to the publisher that their form was not in the lines of what she wanted to submit and they should in turn change their guidance. Now after that what the heck did she really expect from them?
Reality check time. Not all publishers want a query letter, especially one not addressed to them. Some publishers could care less about your reviews and certainly are not about to pick up the phone and call you based on them. Publishers want to see your work. Nicely put together work, preferably. Furthermore their guidelines are there for a reason. Arguing with them to change it to fit your specific wants is like a bulls eye indicating you will be more trouble than it's worth to publish. No one wants to deal with a bratty kid throwing a temper tantrum. If you want things your way then by all means self-publish then you will only have yourself to fuss at.
There are simple rules to follow when seeking a publisher. Do yourself and the publisher a favor and pay attention to their guidelines. Heck go a step further and Google Publisher Do's and Don't s, or Ways Not to Get Rejected. I did and it pulled up several pages with great tips. Some even had sample rejection letters.
Here are some of the top rejection reasons I found:
-Not following the submission guidelines
-Bugging the publisher about whether or not they have reviewed your manuscript
-Poorly submitted work
-Saying how many offers you have for your work
-Mentioning that you are the next (insert famous author name)
Bottom line if you expect to get published without following the rules, then are you really ready to be published in the first place?
Until next time,
The Golden Pen