Sunday, September 17, 2006

Monday Spotlight: Cover Letters and SASEs

Well, the SF-publishing-related portion of the blogosphere is abuzz with the sad story of an author who decided to try a grass-roots campaign to get readers to email the Tor editor to which she'd made her novel submission, encouraging that editor (a very nice person) to buy her book. This, of course, was a very, very, very bad idea.

There's only one correct way to make a submission. My 1997 "On Writing" column on Cover Letters and SASEs, which is this week's Monday Spotlight, highlighting one of the 500+ documents on my website at, explains it.

Most important of all? The final line of the column, which says: "The only way in which you want to stand out from the crowd is by making a proper, professional-looking submission."

More from me on this in my Yahoo Groups! newsgroup.


At September 17, 2006 4:07 PM , Blogger E.Jim Shannon said...

I read her reaction from your link. Her intentions were not to spam but she realized she made a huge mistake. Does this mean she's on a "black list" with Tor? I read Miss Snark occasionally too.

As for cover letters and SASE's, thanks for posting this. Don't people read submission guidelines anymore?

I signed in on you yahoo groups. There might be a problem activating it from my end but today is a writing day. Or should be.

sigh... Jim

At September 25, 2006 10:40 PM , Blogger Ryan Oakley said...

This whole thing was sad. It's horrible to do something you think is good and unique and to have it bite you in the rear. She should have known better but, sometimes, we all should.


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