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Author Topic: What Turns an Editor off in a Query  (Read 5464 times)

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What Turns an Editor off in a Query
« on: October 03, 2006, 04:15:25 PM »

 Tuesday, March 27, 2001 12:52 PM

Okay, here's my editor's contribution:

Betsy Lampe, Editorial Director
Rainbow Books, Inc.
P.O. Box 430
Highland City, FL 33846-0430
Fax: (941) 648-4420

I want to be approached the old-fashioned way by mail. Request guidelines first then query per the guidelines. If we like what we see, we'll request the full manuscript.

Authors can receive guidelines via email, but we do not want email queries or proposals or manuscripts. Unagented submissions are welcomed.

What turns us off in a query:

"My book is destined to be a bestseller..." [unrealistic]
"I've never written a book before, but now that my kids are grown..." [unprofessional]
"My book is ENTITLED..." (books are TITLED, not ENTITLED) [personal pet peeve]
"I will send you the manuscript if and only if you promise not to steal it, and if you sign the enclosed document saying you won't steal it..." [paranoia]
"My book is 200,000 words long..." [no tomes]
"My book is an autobiography..." [unless you're famous, forget it]
"My book is about exactly how I was abused as a child..." [we get at least 20 of these per week -- with sordid details]
"My book is exactly like [title of a bestselling book]..." [don't reinvent the wheel]
"I have no credentials to write this book, but..." [Then why would anyone want to read it?]
"I'm apologizing in advance for my lack of editing, but that's what you're supposed to do..." [unprofessional]
"I'm enclosing my handwritten manuscript..." [unprofessional]
""Everyone will want my book..." [unrealistic]
"My friends say it's terrific..." [unprofessional]
"After you send the $50,000 advance I need to get started, I'll send the first three chapters..." [unrealistic, unprofessional]
"I know Oprah! will want me as a guest..." [unrealistic]
"I have included illustrations done by my nephew..." [unprofessional]
"I have enclosed the only copy I have of my manuscript..." [crazy]

My pet peeves are (clearly, from the above list): unprofessional, unrealistic, unprepared authors (who always say their books are ENTITLED).

We are a small press, but we've been around for 20 years. We have recently branched into mystery fiction and continue to publish 20 nonfiction titles per year. For mystery fiction, send a query with a synopsis and a couple of chapters WITH a self-addressed stamped mailer, if you want it all back, and an SASE for reply. We don't like books on international intrigue or books with gratuitous violence. We like books for women, but aren't adverse to others that might appeal to men. For nonfiction, write or email for guidelines.

This is a family, female-owned-and-run business. We are distributed by Ingram, Baker & Taylor and all major nonexclusive
distributors, and we participate in the Advantage program. We are members of Publishers Association of the South (founding members) Association of American Publishers, Florida Publishers Association (founding members) and National Association of Independent Publishers (founding members).

Kris Neri
Bob Mueller
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