11 Ways to Get Rejected

by Al Kalar
[I wrote this when I was still working for AKW Books]

There are a number of ways to make sure your inquiry to a publisher is rejected. These are just a few of them and I’m sure the list will grow as author “wanna be’s” dream up new ways to annoy a prospective publisher. The examples are from our experiences here at AKW Books, but the problem isn’t one that this little eBook publisher has; the paper publishing industry suffers from the same

  1. Try to rip off some other popular idea and thinly disguise it. If you want to write CSI books, pitch the CSI franchise owners, don’t try to write one “like” it. Heck, if you’re good enough, you might get a gig scripting episodes of one of the programs. If you LOVE Harry Potter, by all means try to rip off that idea; call it HogWorthy’s rather than Hogwart’s. Rawlings won’t mind and she doesn’t have enough money to sue you (and us) into poverty anyway.
  2. Tell us how great you are, that you’re the next Faulkner.
  3. Tell us your ms will sell hundreds of thousands of copies.
  4. Tell us it’s your “love child” or something like that. Hell, tell us about all the struggles you’ve gone through to produce it and how you agonized over every word. Hello! We don’t care; every author should be doing that. What we do care about is what you send us for a sample. That will tell us if you can write well or not.
  5. By all means, if we turn your idea down, cuss us out and call us names so we’ll be more inclined to pay attention to your next project proposal. Heck, we might even tell our friends in the industry what a great attitude you have.
  6. If one of our screening editors makes a suggestion, ignore it. What does s/he know? S/he’s just a professional and “doesn’t understand me”.
  7. If we ask for information or give you submission directions, pay no attention and do what you want. In fact, ignore all our posted procedures, your time’s too valuable to bother reading them. After all, we’re paid to wipe the drool off your chin and adopt our procedures to your personality.
  8. Lie to us about something we can research or are likely to find out. That’s a great way to build trust and we won’t remember the next time around in spite of the fact that we keep records around here.
  9. Slander us or our company on a public forum, while trying to get us to publish you. After all, we’ll never see it right? We’re too stupid to subscribe to services that tell us when we’re mentioned on the Web.
  10. Send us a query note on Saturday and if we don’t answer right away, do it again on Sunday, then again on Monday. We never go home or take weekends off work, so we should be at your beck and call 24/7. And like everyone else, we love receiving SPAM.
  11. Agonize over your decision after we accept your project. Take lots of time. Now that you have someone willing to publish your book, you can investigate competing publishers. We won’t mind being “played” like that. And we’ll look forward to working with someone who can’t make up his mind on every little change or decision.

Believe it or not, every one of these things has happened. Item 10 happened again just this last weekend and 11 last week (also item 9 from someone who has no clue as to what we do and who we are).


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