So, there I was, checking our submissions inbox and there I found some pretty huge no-nos when submitting. Because of this, I decided to scarp my intended post (all about contracts) and address these issues since we're seeing them over and over again..
(No worries, I'll get to talking about contracts soon. Promise!)
Okay, here is a tremendous no-no. If your query reads something like this, Attach you wil find my manuscript, thank you From: Author, it will likely get deleted without consideration. And yes, this is an actual query I found in our inbox. Typos and all. And yes, it was signed "Author" rather than with a name. I wonder if this is a joke. I HOPE it is. If it's not...oh boy! This poor author has no idea how they are shooting themselves in their own foot even if their story is amazing. No publisher or agent will even open a submission if this is the query they see first.
Another red flag in a submission is, Dear [Insert Publishing House Here]. Not so bad, right? Except the query was addressed to the wrong house. Uh oh. No good. I actually wrote the author to alert them they might have sent Lyrical the submission in error and we were forced to delete the manuscript from our system to avoid reviewing a submission not intended for our house. Please pay attention to who you are sending your submission to and always address it to the right person.
Here is another one. Dear Lyrical Press, Attached, you will find my 148,000 word fantasy novel... Um, 148,000? Really? It clearly states on our website that we do not consider works over 100,000. Obviously, this author failed to not only follow our guidelines, but they most likely failed to read them as well. Oh, and did I mention the submission was addressed to an editor who hasn't been with our house for nearly a year? Again, not good. I had to write them to alert them the manuscript far exceeds our word count and has been deleted from our system without consideration. I hate having to do that. *sigh*
Please remember, when you are submitting, you must always put your best foot forward. This means impressing an agent or publisher with your professionalism and showing that that you've paid attention to their guidelines by following them - even if you think they're silly or useless. It shows you've researched the company, and if nothing else, that you are striving to present yourself and your writing in the best light possible.
And that's about it for today. See you all next month, when I'll get to discussing the business of contracts.
-- Renee Rocco