Does your work, whether large or small keep getting rejected? Sometimes it is the sheer fact that editors or their assistants aren't reading your work.
As a former freelance editor for (can't be named) a big-name publisher, I know this happens. Editors are "too busy" to read them all. And if you are a little-known writer, you can pretty much guarantee that your envelope never even got opened by anybody because it didn't have enough shiny money potential on the flap...
Honestly, we think that this discrepancy is bullshit. As though they are too big or too funded to actually care. Tangent complete.
With that out of the way, many authors/writers get rejected by all sorts of publishers for reasons that could have been avoided....outside of shitty writing. From experience as editors, as readers, and as interns of previous houses, here are seven reasons you may be getting rejected from publishers big and small:
#1 You Failed to Read
You didn't follow the specific submission guidelines. Publishers come up with regulations and guidelines to keep things neat and orderly. Guidelines help eliminate the poor listeners from the good listeners too...why? Publishers want to see that a writer can take simple directions and execute them autonomously. This transcribes into a writer's ability to follow edits.
#2 Nobody Actually Knows Who You Are
You forgot to put your contact information on your submission (in a title page or in the header). Most houses DO NOT keep your initial email on file. Could you imagine saving all of the emails received? No. No way. We did this at first and Rubie nearly died.
#3 You Thought the First Draft Was Good Enough
You didn't hire a professional editor to help you with the revision process. 99% of all submissions go unedited before being submitted to a press. Bad writers! Enlist the help of an editor, or at the very least an honest friend who enjoys reading your shitty work. Not to toot our own horn, but our editors offer professional editing services. Eighty-five percent of the manuscripts we edit are picked up by a publishing press.
#4 You Tried to Double Dip
You self-published your manuscript two years ago and didn't think that we would find. We will. Even if you have stopped selling it. And if you lie about it, adios sucker.
#5 You Think SVO Stands for Sandwiches Vinegar, and Onions
You've never read a grammar book. We get plenty of authors who try to argue that all of the errors in their books are stylistic and that is a lie. Sure, certain things are stylistic, but not knowing where a comma belongs is not one of those things. Pick up Strunk and White, and read it. Then practice it while writing your second draft.
#6 You Send Multiple Novels All At Once
You send all 14 of your novels, actually expecting that each one will get the attention of an editor. Please don't ever do this to an acquisitions department. Send one. And then after you've received a response, wait six months before sending another one... or better yet, try a different publishing house.
#7 You Fail to Understand Who Works Where
You send a query letter with a different publishing houses name. Have proper tact an rewrite the letter to suit each press individually. And if you can, please write the acquisition editor's name correctly. Rubie is always written to as Rueben, Ruben, Ruby, and Rube. Do you think those writers get a response from her?
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