Medical Romance & Adventure
This article first appeared in the February issue of the Writer’s Saddle the newsletter for CARWA.
30 Ways to Guarantee a Rejection Letter
By Julie Rowe
- Misspell the name of the agent or editor.
- Email the same query letter to 40 agents all at the same time.
- Use a strange font/really tiny letters/really big letters.
- Print your query on brightly coloured or black paper.
- Send chocolates/roses/other gifts with your query or manuscript.
- Sneeze on your query letter or manuscript.
- Let your cat walk all over your query letter or manuscript.
- Sprinkle perfume on your query letter or manuscript.
- Send your partial or full manuscript in a fibre padded envelope.
- Don’t include an SASE.
- Don’t include any of your contact information.
- Say in your query that your mother/father/priest/best friend loves your book.
- Claim to be the next Stephanie Meyer/Dan Brown/J. K. Rowling/Nora Roberts.
- Don’t proofread your query letter.
- Start your query letter with a rhetorical question.
- Spend most of your query letter explaining the psychology of ALL the characters in your novel.
- Don’t bother to research editors and agents – they’re all the same.
- Include photographs, bookmarks, prayer cards or anything else you think might be “cute” to send along with your query or manuscript.
- Bind your manuscript.
- Don’t follow posted submission guidelines for the agency/publisher.
- Send a faint photocopy of your manuscript.
- Wait a week or two then fire off a letter/email/phone call asking if the agent/editor has read your manuscript yet.
- Print your manuscript on both sides of the page.
- Single space your manuscript.
- Send a 40 page synopsis.
- Spend most of your query letter telling the agent/editor how your book will change their life.
- Put the words: If you want to know how it ends you have to read my book! In your query letter or synopsis.
- Say you’ve been rejected by 25 other agents/editors in your query letter.
- Send your first draft.