“Few have strength of reason to overrule the perceptions of sense, and yet fewer have curiosity or benevolence to struggle long against the first impression: he who therefore fails to please in his salutation and address is at once rejected, and never obtains an opportunity of showing his latest excellences or essential qualities.”
This week’s article may swing widely from my humble opinion to breaking in and back again so I beg your patience. We placed an ad for submissions at the digital webbing website and as always I am amazed at the wide variety of responses we receive. They range from people detailing epic continuing series that would tell the complete story of the universe to a single link to a web page with no other information.
As always the best answer lies in between the extremes but the most important work goes on before you send the email or query letter. In previous days I like many writers felt that if my story could get into the right hands then they would recognize the glory of my work in whatever format I chose and put me on the steps to wealth and fame in a writing career. I learned in those early days how wrong I was the list of reasons that my work w as rejected before even being consider was long and looking back silly. Not silly because of the editors but silly that I would make the mistake.
The list begins sending our submissions blindly without researching the market you are sending your work to. Find out what they are running and their guidelines. Don’t send material they do not carry and put it in the format they prefer. I was very angry the first time that I got a submission rejected because it was in the size and type of font. What did that have to do with the strength of my words or the wonderful characters that inhabited my story? Nothing but after spending sometimes hours trying to get a document formatted correctly to flow into Pandora’s Gate I understand. If you are not Stephen King and I have someone else I can look at who did it right I know who I’m picking.
The point is don’t give an editor a reason to drop you without looking at your material. Read a copy of the magazine. Read the submission guidelines and if unsure send them a query letter with a short (!) description of your project and wait patiently for a response. If all else fails you save a lot of money on postage sending work where it will not receive a favorable reception.