What's the sloppiest dummy book you've ever seen?I got a dummy about magical spaghetti once that had been painted in tomato sauce.
I’ve been told that student publications count but are they worth mentioning in query letters? What about articles you wrote as an intern?If any of these publications were in magazines / newspapers / etc that people in publishing might reasonably read, then yes, include them. Otherwise, I don't care.
In my limited research I’ve so far discovered that having a book published seems to be about (other than descent writing) timing, submitting a piece when the publisher is looking for that format, genre etc. Is it acceptable to resubmit a manuscript to the same publisher and if so how often? Yearly? Or is no a no forever?Publishers will tell you a no is a no forever, but between you and me, yearly is fine. Most publishers get so many submissions that the chances of your manuscript being read by the same person next year are pretty small. Staff changes; times change; tastes change; and most importantly, your writing gets better. Right?
When seeking an agent, to whom do you address a query if the company doesn’t specify? For example, I recently queried a literary agency seeking representation for my children’s picture book. I thought I did all my research. I read all the information on their website, researched and read books they’d represented and had published and followed their query guidelines to the letter. However there are more than a few agents at this agency and they didn’t specify to address a specific agent… so I did the not so professional opener of “Dear Sir or Madame” because I was unsure of what to do. A few days later I happened upon an online interview with the lead agent. To my horror, in the interview they stated that they throw away any query or submission that starts “Dear Sir” because it shows the author didn’t do their due research. I’m now hoping the lead agent isn’t the one to review my query. What should I have done?First of all, subscribe to Publisher's Lunch. Daily reporting on the deals made by agents in the book world.
Secondly, Google. Go on, do some research.
I know many agencies (and publishers, for that matter) make it difficult to submit to them. Here's the industry secret: They're doing it on purpose. And not because they're elitist jerks.
It's because there is a heaving ocean of rank newbies who all want to submit their work to every agent and every publishing house.
Agents and publishing houses cannot deal with that kind of influx. If we did, all we'd ever do is deal with slush when in reality we have big, complicated jobs to do.
Some of those newbies will quit out of frustration. That's good, because publishing is not an endeavor for the faint of heart or lightly-endowed of stubbornness.
Some of those newbies will be put off long enough for them to educate themselves further in the book business. That's good, because publishing is not for the mildy-interested or the ignorant.
If you want to be in the club, you have to be serious about books and writing: seriously interested, and seriously committed. Welcome to the club!