Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Have I taught you nothing?

The opening of an email I just received:
Dear Editor:

I am seeking the publication of my young adult novel, TITLE, complete at 168,000 words.
My reply:
You'll never get anywhere like this. My guidelines say no YA, and nothing over 100,000 words -- I didn't read anything beyond that in your letter. I wish you luck, but, believe me, all editors just chuck emails that begin "Dear Editor" (our names aren't that hard to find), especially when they show a complete disregard for the guidelines of or an unfamiliarity with the publisher being approached.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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At January 27, 2009 5:16 PM , Blogger wtl said...

Perhaps you are not writing clearly enough in the guidelines?

Maybe you should have bolded the entire sentence:
"It is a line of adult books: we are not interested in children's or young-adult fiction."

Perhaps you should apply the dreaded blink tag to the line (which you thoughtfully bolded, but obviously requires more emphasis "Our maximum length is 100,000 words — no exceptions."

Ah, people. You weren't hoping that they would actually *read* what the requirements are, did you? ;-)

At January 27, 2009 6:05 PM , Blogger Mark Leslie said...

The guidelines? I suppose that explains why you rejected my proposal for a biography of Paris Hilton.


At January 27, 2009 11:11 PM , Blogger Us in SA said...

Heck, I know that and I'm not even a (wannabe) writer.


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