Friday, February 2, 2007


It’s a worsening problem to keep up with the publishing houses and know who is accepting unsolicited Ms., and whether they will return a Ms. in a SASE, or even whether they’ll send a form rejection in an SASE included with a Ms. that doesn’t have to be returned. Some now just tell the writer to submit a complete Ms., and if they’re interested they’ll let the writer know. It’s a pretty cold way of doing business, and these conditions keep changing. Just submitting a novel on spec may cost thirty to forty dollars, and the editor will likely make a decision on the first four or five pages. It shouldn’t be any more work and expense for them to invite a query letter, an outline, and up to ten pages of the Ms (with SASE for reply). They may have taken this step to hold down their slush pile, but if the probability of uncovering a good Ms. remains about the same, and probably it does, they may be passing up profitable opportunities. A friend told me about a new writer’s site that will track and update changing publisher’s needs and provide a forum for writers: I registered as I'd like to keep up with this situation.

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