Yesterday I dropped by Miss Snark’s blog, and found this comment in regards to a question about how to know a publisher is legitimate:
“Are there specific but standard QUERY guidelines? No publisher who is legitimate as far as I know, will take full manuscripts on the first go round.”
I must say, Miss Snark’s is wrong here.
NeWest Press says “We are accepting only complete manuscripts at this time. Please send us your manuscript along with a covering letter.”
And you can find them in the Writer’s Market, another good sign someone is legitimate.
Ronsdale Press says, “What to send?: If you are in doubt, send a query letter with a sample. If you are persuaded that Ronsdale is the press for you, then you can choose to send the entire manuscript. That's fine with us.”
Dundurn says to send, “Either a complete manuscript or at least three sample chapters. In either case, we require a hard copy of the material. Please use Times New Roman (or comparable font), 12-point type, double-spaced, standard margins (1"-1.5"). It is not necessary to bind the manuscript.”
Mundania Press says to send:
Mundania Press is open to all unsolicited manuscripts. PLEASE DO NOT SEND A QUERY ONLY! Queries without a full manuscript will be ignored. Do not mail us a printed manuscript through the post office. We only accept electronic submissions as an email cover letter with your manuscript as a file attachment.
Why am I taking the time to make this point here? Because this is a good example of the fact that, as much as you can get really good advice online, sometimes the experts even get it wrong.
No matter who gives you advice, you should always check it out. Always.
And for the benefit of anonymous, the publisher from Orion said they take unsolicited manuscripts when speaking at Harrogate last summer. And they most certainly have books on the shelves in both Canada and the UK, as they're a UK publisher - the publisher of Ian Rankin and Lesley Horton, to name a few.
Okay okay, alright already. So Miss Snark made a mistake. Nobody’s going to sentence her to thirty lashes with a wet noodle or anything.
In my experience, people only want to hear what they want to hear anyways, no matter what a professional says. You can share from your own experience, but still many people will remain skeptical until they’ve heard it a zillion times, or from someone “famous” or until they’ve found out the hard way themselves.
One of the things about me is that I want to shield people from the pain of bad choices. And I have often referred people to Miss Snark’s blog, and will continue to do so.
But I do trust people to know not to jump blindly based on the decisions of others.
This issue has come up for me on a few things lately. I’ve had people question me about submitting work to my publisher. In the end, it’s their choice. What works for one person might not work for another. Everyone is different in this regard. Some will thrive on being with a large publisher and it will work well for them. Others have had extremely positive experiences with small publishers, even new publishers.
Then there’s been the writing group discussion. I still have friends there. And as far as I’m concerned, they don’t need to know the ‘who’ and ‘what’ in nitty-gritty detail. Only a couple people could even know from my post which person I was speaking about and they were part of the group argument, so it wasn’t a secret there.
But as far as I’m concerned, they don’t need to jump ship to be my friends. I’ll only say that this was my issue, and that there were a number of factors that played into it that have been going on for over six months. What happened most recently was the proverbial straw, and it doesn’t discount what I learned during my time in the group, or that others may find tremendous benefit from it.
It speaks more to me getting actively involved and participating on boards and giving of my time and energy and consequently, being sucked into the politics at play. The politics were bad enough. It was when it got personal I had an issue.
So I would always encourage people to keep an open mind to some extent. Just because you read something here, or at Miss Snark’s or JA Konrath’s, it doesn’t make it necessarily right. Especially Konrath’s. He is, after all, a man. Which means he lacks inborn wisdom and needs help from his long-suffering wife.
Oh, did I type that? I only meant to think it…
Another picture to consider. Gawd, you poor, poor people. See thread below to cast your vote...
And here’s a little joke for you. Especially you, Boy Kim. Because even the people who elect you can do an about-face. Which says more about them, doesn’t it? After all, if they elected you and end up not liking you, it means they were wrong…Right?
Did you vote for Bliar? Well, you can convert the joke whichever way you want...
Canada Post has created a new stamp with a picture of former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.
The stamp is not sticking to envelopes, which enraged Chrétien, who demanded a full investigation.
After a month of testing, a special government commission presented the following findings:
1) The stamp is in perfect order.
2) There is nothing wrong with the applied adhesive.
3) People are spitting on the wrong side.