Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Beyond the Form Rejection: jumping the gun
From the incoming queries today:
I am writing to ask if you are interested in representing me. I have written a business book entitled X
I have started submitting it to publishers that I am in discussion with. I would be glad to send you some sample chapters if you are interested to see more.
My reply: form rejection.
Beyond the form rejection however is this:
I'm not keen on stepping in to a project after it's started, and once you've sent your book to a publisher, you've started.
Here are the steps that were bypassed:
1. Polishing the proposal. Even if you think your proposal is perfect, a second set of eyes can pick up many things you miss. And, let's be honest, most proposals aren't perfect. They're not even close. I can give you ten names right now of queriers and clients who are in the throes of learning that. We're polishing their proposals and for some of them, the process can take months.
2. Tailoring a submission list to editor's tastes, and publisher's strengths. A writer can't do this on his/her own. Not all business book publishers are equal and the editors who work there are looking for different things.
3. Sending to all the publishers who might be interested at the same time. If you only query the publishers you know, you're missing out on a lot of good companies. My job is know all of them. If I come in half way through the submission process it's MUCH harder to get the proposal in the hands of all the right editors with enough time for them to consider it carefully.
Even if this had been a book on a topic I was red hot to represent, knowing the author had jumped the gun would but a serious hitch in my gallop toward offering representation.
at 7:00 AM