Author Topic: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at  (Read 17112 times)

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #75 on: February 22, 2006, 12:50:25 PM »
I agreed with everything Brandon said but wasn't able to back it up with concrete examples like that. It's really nice to have a Brandon 'round these parts!!
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The Lost One

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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #76 on: February 22, 2006, 01:30:52 PM »
This is an interesting discussion. I would have to agree that knowing your market is the best way to go. I know most people on TWG try to publish Sci-fi/fantasy and other works of fiction but I would have to say that academic publication (non-fiction) can be different. I've found that sending the same article or book to as many as 100 publishers is very common and if it is is any good, there is a race to see who get to publish the work. For legal publication, there seems to be more publishers than authors and thus, people like me can get published without being the best writers.

The writing/publishing world is very different outside of TLE and the very competative fiction market. Of course, very few non-fiction and scholastic authors make money directly from their publications. Plus fiction is much more interesting to read as oppose to the stuff that I've published (unless you find tax exemption of government owned LLC's to be some twisted form of entertainment).
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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #77 on: February 22, 2006, 03:29:01 PM »
Quote

So, while I think Mr. Savage has some excellent points, and is good at making a discussion, I don't really agree with his two controversial items.  


Funny how the two least important items are the ones that get all the attention. I probably spent 5 minutes max on those items, and I prefaced the SASE with the warning that I didn't expect most people to take that advice.

I agree with you that the pic may not be applicable to the sf/f space. My focus has been primarily mainstream, although mainstream supernatural suspense. In fact in my next presentation, I'll probably change the pic alone to a pic with a short bio. At worst it gets thrown away, but at best you are showing that you understand the importance of getting out and marketing your book after the sale. I'd be surprised at any publisher who didn't think that was important.

As far as the SASE, I do not in any way suggest that not including a SASE will increase your chances of getting looked at. This advice is totally about my personal feelings. After receiving dozens of rejections, I came to hate seeing those stupid envelopes with my labels on them. So I dumped them. And when I got my agent it was the same way I sold my LDS books, by phone.

I stand by the statement that if your work is good enough you will be contacted by e-mail or phone. I don't believe for a minute that your work will be thrown away because there is no SASE. This is not about saving forty cents, it's about believing in your work. But again, let me restate that I don't have a probelm with anyone not taking that advice.

BTW, here's my pic. I think it goes great w/ the wolfman look.



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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #78 on: February 22, 2006, 06:45:54 PM »
Okay, stop it people! I can't handle all the hotness!

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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #79 on: February 22, 2006, 09:00:04 PM »
My one is here:



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« Last Edit: February 22, 2006, 09:01:03 PM by JamPaladin »
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #80 on: February 23, 2006, 12:16:41 AM »
Quote
I don't believe for a minute that your work will be thrown away because there is no SASE.

But if they don't even read your query due to there being no SASE, it doesn't matter how much you believe in your work--it will go in the trash.

[EDIT: Also, the editor or agent you send your query to might not always open their own mail. Editorial Assistants often do mail-opening. And if they have a standing order that anything that doesn't have a SASE gets trashed, then the editor/agent will never even see what you sent them.]
« Last Edit: February 23, 2006, 12:57:35 AM by OoklaTheMok »
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Eric James Stone

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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #81 on: February 23, 2006, 02:21:35 AM »
Quote

6-overeating.  I don't know about you all, but I eat a box of twinkies and drink a two liter of dr pepper every time I get rejected.  By not sending the SASE, I am sparing myself the inevitable heart attack.

Too true.  Except with me it's a box of pizza and a two liter of root beer.
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Spriggan

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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #82 on: February 23, 2006, 03:27:56 AM »
Quote

But if they don't even read your query due to there being no SASE, it doesn't matter how much you believe in your work--it will go in the trash.

[EDIT: Also, the editor or agent you send your query to might not always open their own mail. Editorial Assistants often do mail-opening. And if they have a standing order that anything that doesn't have a SASE gets trashed, then the editor/agent will never even see what you sent them.]


Let me add that Savage, I love that name maybe I'll start calling myself Spriggan Savage, it doesn't matter what you think about the SASE it matters what the editors think and several on this forum have told you their feelings.  I personally think it's dishonest to tell people to do that based off your opinions when you know that editors want SASEs, I'm beginning to think this is less "shocking carnival draw" and more "sabotaging the competition".
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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #83 on: February 23, 2006, 10:10:01 AM »
ok, I want to repeat, even though I rarely view this on dialup, that large pictures are pretty darn annoying when in the body of the post. External links work better, especially when everyone tries to get in on the action.

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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #84 on: February 23, 2006, 10:45:03 AM »
Quote


I'm beginning to think this is less "shocking carnival draw" and more "sabotaging the competition".


Now, THAT'S a conspiracy theory.
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precious-jules

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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #85 on: February 23, 2006, 11:01:52 AM »
Quote

Too true.  Except with me it's a box of pizza and a two liter of root beer.


~Chuckle~  The pizza sounds like a great idea! In truth, I go to the twinkies and dr pepper every time my editor calls me too.  Doesn't matter that the contracts are signed . . . every time that guy calls, I go through so much adrenaline that I need the food to keep me from passing out. Now that the book is out, we are friends again, but for a while there I felt like I was in the trenches getting bombed!
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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #86 on: February 23, 2006, 11:14:48 AM »
Quote


I'm beginning to think this is less "shocking carnival draw" and more "sabotaging the competition".


Though I am almost sure you're joking here, I wanted to say that I've never known anyone more willing to help other authors than Savage. He has hand carried manuscripts from newer and less known authors directly to his personal editors to get them out of slush piles and get them really reviewed.  How many authors do you know that are willing to do that for other writers?  I know a lot of authors, both national and local, and Savage is the first I've met like that.

His ability to help others grow as writers and "make it happen" for them is something I truly envy. His goal is to make the market a better place.  

I have taken part in an experiment.  I currently have a completed fantasy for YA finished.  I sent out five queries using his ten tips. I know of several other authors who did the same. We expect nothing more than an interesting case study for our efforts.  I think the results will be very interesting.  One of the people in the study already received a personalized note from the agent she queried.  I will make sure we post the results of the experiment back here.  

I agree that it hurts nothing to include the SASE, therefore why not do it?  But I also agree that every acceptance I have ever received from editors has been via the telephone.  Thank you, Mr. Bell, for that fine invention!
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stacer

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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #87 on: February 23, 2006, 12:54:43 PM »
I still hold that it's the middle-line rejections that you're not going to be receiving--the ones who are borderline on you that might make suggestions for improvement but who aren't interested in *this* manuscript. You might be missing out on developing a contact you might have otherwise--Brandon's example with Joshua is a prime one. Of *course* you're going to be called or emailed if it's accepted. But I rarely give my email out to someone I found in the slush pile for a rejection (I make exceptions for other countries sometimes) because I'm then more likely to receive submissions and questions from that person via email that take up my time.

By the way, precious-jules, if you are who I think you are, I had a slight mishap my last day at LTUE: I lost the business cards people gave me. So you have my card--you are welcome to email me your contact info so I have it (but if you submit something, do it by mail! :) ). Anyone else here who got my card at LTUE and gave me one, know that your card went floating off into space somewhere. I blame the airport. You can also email me and remind me what you write and that we met at LTUE, so I can have that contact info.
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precious-jules

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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #88 on: February 23, 2006, 04:09:25 PM »
Quote


By the way, precious-jules, if you are who I think you are, I had a slight mishap my last day at LTUE: I lost the business cards people gave me. So you have my card--you are welcome to email me your contact info so I have it (but if you submit something, do it by mail! :) ). Anyone else here who got my card at LTUE and gave me one, know that your card went floating off into space somewhere. I blame the airport. You can also email me and remind me what you write and that we met at LTUE, so I can have that contact info.


Stacer, I agree about the middle-line submissions.

And though I am taking part in the experiment, I likely would continue sending the SASE in future submissions.  A forty cent stamp isn't going to kill me, in spite of my tongue in cheek list from the other day. My children really aren't shoeless (Well they ARE, but only because they choose to be) I do enjoy the idea of the experiment though and have had fun along with my other writer friends getting our submissions ready.

I am the Jules you are thinking of (Julie Wright). My daughter and I are having a reading Saturday this weekend where we snuggle under the blankets in my bed and read books.  She is excited to read the book you gave her and was grateful for the gift.  Thanks again!  I do have your card and your information and am more than happy to email you mine.  

Sorry about the mishap and losing all that information.  I had the same thing happen to me my second day at the fantasy Con in Wisconsin.  I am still grinding teeth over the contacts I lost.
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House of Mustard

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Re: Ten tips guaranteed to get MS looked at
« Reply #89 on: February 23, 2006, 05:40:29 PM »
I'm posting merely to get this thread onto another page, so we don't have load those big pictures every time.

However, regarding the debate, I have to say that I don't really believe in using tricks and novelties to get attention for submissions.  While the process of getting published can occasionally seem mysterious and random to the authors who are submitting, it's really very businesslike and professional.  Publishing houses live and die by sorting between the average and the great, and I don't think they're likely to be swayed by gimmicky submissions.

In other words, I wouldn't ever bother experimenting.  Publishers tell authors what they want, so why shouldn't we believe them?

(That said, maybe those who take risks will end up with a bigger payoff.  But maybe they won't.  I'd rather stick with the tried and true.)

EDIT: It still didn't bump the page -- curses!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2006, 05:41:52 PM by House_of_Mustard »
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