Know Who Publishes What Before You Submit

I wrote this five years ago for Red Room, but I just got a similar query sent to my BPNW email a week ago. Before you send a note to anyone about publishing your stuff, look them up! All publishers and agents have websites these days. They state specifically what they want. Think of it like a job application. The closer that you make your query to what they seek, the more likely you are to be hired (or sell your book).

Avoiding An Automatic Rejection

I felt terrible, but I wrote a rejection letter last night.  This nice writer sent me a wonderful query about a nonfiction book idea. Only problem: I'm not a publisher. I am the web editor for Book Publishers Northwest, a group of Washington state book publishers.

The writer got my e-mail from BPNW's website.  He saw the word "publisher" in the group's name and assumed that we were a publisher specializing in Northwest topics.  Umm, sorry, nope, nice try, no sale.  That's how my e-mail back to him sounded. That information also is posted in several areas on BPNW's website and social media pages. A minute of online research could have saved both of us some time.

The gentleman at the other end of the query was wonderfully polite after he got my sad rejection letter. He admitted that he didn't know much about how to submit and hadn't thought through the need to research before submitting.

Automatic rejections sting. I hate getting them myself, which is why I tend to write something nice back when somebody goofs up and sends a manuscript to me. But so many rejections could be avoided by a little bit of research.



Popular Posts