Today I decided to keep track of the mail so you can see a bit what the submissions are like.
2 Maybes - Both non-fiction. One was rejected immediately by my boss, the other placed back on the pile for more serious consideration.
3 Crazy Book Ideas - I am referring to not a person who is crazy, but the idea is crazy (it's different), though the person could very well be crazy for all I know. These queries, among my favorite, describe novels with plots that make no sense. ("These lovers get on a plane - and then a gorrilla comes out of fucking NOWHERE!!! and then it turns out he's invisible but he's still attacking them...") Or they are novels that are not properly described in any way that makes sense because the author rambles for about a page about other stuff, to the point where I wonder if he has written anything or is just lonely for return mail.
1 Famous Person That Can't Write - Many people who have achieved some mediocre amount of fame (in this case, as a popular sports radio personality) think they can translate whatever part of their career/act that made them famous into written form, and they are wrong. So wrong.
2 Manuscripts That Are Too Short - Seriously, if you're in fiction, don't go under 70k. Under 60k is an auto-reject, no matter what NaNaWriMo says about novel length. And definitely do NOT submit something that's 33,100 words.
1 Manuscript That Is Too Long - If you are in fiction or autobiography, please do not go far over 100k. Certainly, don't go over 120k. 240,000 words is just unacceptable. Auto-reject.
2 Crazy Christian Authors - Before I get a flood of hate replies, let me clarify. I am not referring to Christian inspiration, which is a legitimate genre that occasionally has good writers. I am referring to people who are obviously quite insane but are also all hopped up on Christ and have attempted to write a Christian inspirational novel, but their insanity slips through. One of them I remember featured a story about a town that re-introduced whipping as a form of punishment for sin. For two pages this guy went on about whipping and sin and Christ and more whipping, to the point that I was just suspicious.
1 Christian Inspiration - I forget whether this was someone's non-fiction autobiography about discovering their path to religion or fiction with the same plot, but the point is, it's not a genre we handle. No offense meant, but auto-reject.
1 Ex-Military Guy - And this guy wasn't from Iraq, either, though we see a lot of those. This guy was in the Korean war or something. Yes, you went to war. That doesn't qualify you to write about it, unless you can make it interesting. Unfortunately, you didn't.
2 Fiction About a Woman Discovering Herself - otherwise known as "chick-lit." Plus, one of them was about a woman who found out she was a lesbian over the course of the book.
1 Generic Self-Help - Hint: the words "generic" and "touching" don't go well together.
1 Just Plain Crazy Guy - I don't know what crazy guy's novel is about, because he doesn't usually get to it until the third page of his 16-size font rant, and it's only a brief summary. Before he gets there, he decides to discuss a bunch of non-related events in his life that are apparently supposed to be either hilarious or bitterly hilarious about the publishing industry and how it doesn't appreciate real literature, because this guy has CLEARLY written it, and that's why he has no punctuation.