How to (Not) Make a Good Impression

I posted a Tweet today about how you only have one chance to make a first impression and it got me to thinking. I know I’ve said some of these before, but I’ll say them again, because I like repeating myself, and, well, it obviously needs to be repeated. =)

1. Spell my name right. If you Google me, you can easily find it. Heck, it’s on the Samhain website (along with a really flipping’ awesome baby picture of me. Oh yeah, I’m a cross-eyed gangsta).

2. Don’t have any typos in your email. This is always important, but lately I’ve even seen typos in querys from agents. Don’t trust spell check! I cannot stress that enough. The best thing to do when sending an important email, read it aloud before you send it. I have always found that to be the best way to catch my own typos.

3. Don’t send an email to someone who is no longer with the company. Please, do your due diligence. If a person hasn’t been with us for years and you’re sending us an email to their attention…

4. Make sure that what you’re submitting is even something the house publishes. For instance, don’t send me literary fiction, women’s fiction or YA. It doesn’t matter how phenomenal it may be, I won’t be reading it and you’ll be getting a rejection immediately because it’s something we don’t publish. And also, it doesn’t reflect well on you that you didn’t even look at our website to see our guidelines.  It’s all about research, guys.

5. Don’t tell me about your sex life. PLEASE don’t tell me about your sex life. I don’t want to know that you visited every BDSM club in a two-hundred-mile radius in order to ensure the accuracy of your book. And I really don’t want to know what goes on inside your bedroom.

6. Don’t send a generic letter and send it to multiple publishers at the same time. 

7. Don’t forward me the query letter you sent addressed to another publisher. You just might forget to change the names on it…

8. Please don’t send follow-up emails regarding your manuscript a week after you’ve submitted it. Any publisher’s website will tell you what their response times are. Let it get within at least that before you send anything. 

9. Don’t tell me your mom loved your book. Haven’t you ever watched American Idol?

10. Please don’t send me an erotic romance that you tell me is based on your life…and then top it off by telling me that your daughter proofread it for you. ‘Nuff said.

3 Comments

Filed under Life

3 responses to “How to (Not) Make a Good Impression

  1. A. Catherine Noon

    PLEASE tell me that someone did not send you a manuscript for an erotic romance and said that their daughter proofread it. Please.

    It saddens me that advice like this needs to be given at all, considering any good book (hell, even mediocre books) on getting published ALL say similar stuff: do your homework, spell check, make sure the person you’re targeting is the right individual, and CHECK PUBLISHER’S GUIDELINES. It’s bad enough when you make a goof even when you know a publisher’s preferences (I once sent a submission to a magazine to whom I’d subscribed for years and completely missed the fact that all their articles were first person and mine was a clean, professional, impersonal third – oops). When you don’t even bother to do basic research, is it any wonder that a rejection is forthcoming? Oi.

    Every BDSM club for 200 miles, huh? That’s a lot of miles. o.O… I wish I could come up with a nice, pithy pun, but I can’t. Just… oi. :)

  2. “10. Please don’t send me an erotic romance that you tell me is based on your life…and then top it off by telling me that your daughter proofread it for you. ”

    So disturbing.

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