I have a small rejoinder to another post I wrote regarding following submission guidelines. This blunder is even more heinous because of its blatant desire to have a work reviewed. I’m talking about the writer who contacts me asking if they can submit. It’s like a query to query. The answer is always the same; abso-freaking-lutely, provided…PROVIDED…you read those pesky submission guidelines. We discussed whether we take historical fiction (yes, but it has to have big aspects of current socially relevant themes). I couldn’t have been clearer than if I’d rinsed my mouth out with Windex.
“Yes, yes,” sez wanna-be author, “I’ve read your guidelines to the letter and am ready to proceed.” No word count, no bio, and in a genre we don’t publish. In fact, he omitted his bio on purpose. Said he’d send it later if I wanted it, and, oh by the by, he has just the most wonderful writing history. A tease, this one.
No matter how much a writer wants to slam that square peg into that round hole, it isn’t going to fit. Not now. Not ever. So why waste everyone’s time by hoping that “just this once” I’ll change my mind. Truth is, I can’t. We’re known for socially relevant works. If I suddenly pop out a historical fiction suspense/murder, then one of two things happens: 1) The book dies because I don’t have those kinds of marketing contacts or 2) The book dies because my editing team isn’t proficient in developing a bang up murder mystery. And face it, you want the very best for your book, right? Then be certain that you query a publisher who pubs your genre.
Yes, I can hear it now, “Geez, Price, why you so cranky?” Ah, I don’t know. Maybe it was the guy I got earlier today that said, “I read your submission guidelines and decided to largely ignore them.” Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed…