Saturday, June 21, 2008

When Less is NOT More, further ranting

You don't have to tell me everything about yourself in a query letter. In fact, I'm sure we both prefer you err on the side of less rather than more. There are some places however where less is not in your best interest. Here's one:

You wrote a book. It was published by BigAss & BottomLine Publisher sometime before 1990. Then it went out of print. Then the rights reverted to you. Then you republished it using one of the slick ass template printing companies that call themselves publishers. Places like iUniverse.

Then you tell me only about BA&BL, not the iUniverse, edition.

Every single time you tell me you've been published I look it up. Every single time. No exceptions.

If the only edition I find on Amazon is the iUniverse edition, and there's no hint of the other edition anywhere, I'm not impressed. There are a lot of authors who go out of print but remain for sale. Used book sites, even Amazon, will sell mass market editions of very old books if people want to buy them. When I don't see your book there, I assume people don't want to buy it. That does not bode well.

So, what to do? Get the damn thing OFF Amazon before you query. Unless you're selling a hundred units a month (in which case you mention THAT in your query letter) you probably aren't going to lose much money by delisting it.

Then you also mention why the book can't be found anywhere. Maybe it's a red hot collectors item. Maybe all the stock was destroyed in a fire. Whatever it is mention it.

If you don't tell me, I just assume no one wanted to buy it and all copies are currently living in the FreshKills Landfill on Staten Island. I'm right 99% of the time on this assumption. If you're the exception, you'll need to tell me.


Julie Weathers said...

Out of curiosity, did you pursue this relationship?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

did she pursue this relationship? [[snicker]]

Pro'lly not, huh.

I always check when I check authors. If that fails, I check

Amazon is a poor choice for out of print books. addall, bookfinder, ... Argh, they be the places to check matey.

oh, and you left out another possibility on the remainders ... Goats. Lots of hungry goats!

Julie Weathers said...

"oh, and you left out another possibility on the remainders ... Goats. Lots of hungry goats!"

True. I am an old goat tyer and roper and they do have a tendency to eat things they shouldn't.

"Ah, we're out. To the roses!"

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

In my new work in progress a goat chews on an expensive suit coat. This is drawn from real life. ... Nothing like goat spit to make your day.

Did you see the short video of the goat who can't stop licking the electric fence? I've never been able to make up my mind about goat-intelligence. My general impression is that goats are smart, but they just don't quite cut it in the common sense area.

Male goats remind me of some men I've met .... Affectionate, follow you around like a puppy, maybe a bit of a hygiene problem, think about sex a lot, and a tad stubborn at inappropriate times. ... Oh, and they like to stand in the highest hill.

- - - -

PS by Bill E. Goat: "There is no real comparison between male goats and men. We're much more handsome, and we understand the importance of roughage. Dried leaf, anyone?"

Julie Weathers said...
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Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.