Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How to Become an Internet Laughingstock

Normally I wouldn't do this, but someone emailed this to me in a mass email and it wound up in my bulk mailbox, which is where it belonged, along with all the Anatrim stuff. Anything that yahoo mail can already figure out is crap is fair game in my book.

Author seeks Publisher - Publishers & Literary Agents Please Read

Please only reply to the email links in the text below.

I am a published writer, having written non-fiction and fiction for an array of magazines. I have written for many business publications, PR editorials and features for a wide range of websites worldwide.

I find it unfortunate that none of these magazines seem to have names.

I now have my first fully completed and critiqued non-fiction manuscript available for publishing.

Nothing makes me jump out of my chair like the idea of a "first manuscript." Look, if it is your first, don't mention it.

For more information, please read this email

I thought that was pretty much what I was doing.

or email me at [email deleted] to request the synopsis, some sample chapters and the promotional website.

Discover the Revolutionary New Way to Heal Yourself!

I smell an auto-reject. Okay, because he emailed me at Rejector, it's an auto-reject anyway, but if this was submitted to my boss properly in letter form, this is where I would only continue reading for my own amusement. What is it? Does it involve crystals? A poor understanding of any major religion's mysticism? Eating only beets and then measuring your stool? Coffee enemas? Tantric sex? Eating dirt? Positive attitude? Embracing Christ?

This book and card set will help you to discover a new way to heal yourself. It is a unique, revolutionary, easy to use system; this set has also been designed to show you a clear and simple way by which you can remove past and present health issues aiding the healing of yourself from within.

Each set of cards has been ingeniously and carefully structured allowing the user to discover which mental, emotional and physical impediment prevents their progress forward in life.

DAMNIT! Tarot cards again. Look, there's no real myticism behind a medieval CCG. (Collective Card Game). That's right, that's what Tarot was - the Middle Age's version of Magic: The Gathering. Go read a book if you don't believe me.

This book teaches a revolutionary new way to heal yourself easily today!

My Critique company commented:

This is an amazing manuscript. Many, many readers will benefit from this material. Thank you for writing this manuscript. This will be a huge success! I do wish you luck with this endeavor. However, you will not need luck. You have an awesome manuscript, and a special gift with words.

He owns the company? I guess that doesn't make him very subjective.

For more information, please email me at [email deleted] to request the synopsis, some sample chapters and the promotional website.

If don't want to receive email from us, we apologise for any inconvenience caused and ask that you simply email [email deleted] putting remove as the subject. If you are sending from another email address, please include the email address that you want removed.

As I never signed up for your list anyway, I deeply suspect whether I get future emails from you will not involve any actions on my part. I think making fun of you at length in a blog will be much more effective.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Stupid Things People Do #2

Some people like to put their business card in their submission, especially if they bother to submit a whole binder or something. It's not necessary, but it helps us find their email if they forgot the SASE or we actually want to request material.

That said, I would like to put all of the people who have titled themselves "wordsmith" in a spaceship and send it to a planet with no atmosphere. That planet would then be renamed "planet of the dorks."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Not Actually a Dumb Question

Dear Rejecter,
I have what I now am thinking is the dumbest question in the world. I mean, I should know this but I honestly don't. And the question is... am I supposed to be using indentions for each new paragraph in my query letter? In my novel? I don't want to look like I don't know what I'm doing, but I don't know if indentions are just something they teach you back in elementary school (like putting two spaces after a period) or if they are actually supposed to be used.
- A Reader

In your query letter, it doesn't matter, as long as you put a space between paragraphs so we know where they end. In your manuscripts, use indents, and no spaces between paragraphs, like a normal book (except that it's double-spaced).

How using indents or spaces between paragraphs will make you look like you don't know basic grammar, so stay away from doing that.

I honestly don't know where this double-spacing business started, but I'm not a huge fan. NO ONE DO THIS, but I find 1.5 perfectly acceptable. When you figure the cost of paper, the cost of ink (especially if you don't have a laser printer), and now these increased shipping costs for weight, huge manuscripts are generally bad, in my opinion as a writer and as an assistant. We're not a huge fan of the 800-page unsolicited manuscripts. It's bad enough that they're unsolicited, but I'm not much of a weight lifter as it is.