I was rabidly devouring info on turn-around time for submissions to certain pubs on Absolute Write yesterday. That’s a productive use of writing time, no? Okay, it’s not. It’s about the same as haunting Web MD in search of an ailment that matches the numerous questionable symptoms you (I) have lately. It’s enough to make you think you’re dying as far as the symptom-checker goes, and enough to make you second guess the submission you (I) just sent and get absolutely no work done.
In my case, it made me realize that I never wrote “Dear [Anybody]” at the top of my submission. Nothing. Just tacked my synopsis and full onto the attachments and launched into a brief description. The automatic response email didn’t flat-out call me an a-hole, but I doubt it has those detection abilities.
So then I had to search for the etiquette behind the “Dear Editor” thing. Is it really necessary? I know I’ve read “the rules” before. I planned to send my sub in as picture-perfectly as possible. I read everything on the site numerous times, and triple checked to be sure I had included all of the requested info. I self-edited until my eyes bled.
But they never told me to be polite on the web site and I just plum forgot.
I’m not rude, generally speaking. When I burp, I say the word “burp” which I think is way classier than a loud belch. I always remember my “pleases” and “thank yous”–case in point, I remembered to thank the mysterious entity on the other side of my email for their consideration after I dumped my electronic business in their inbox. Perhaps I earned back one of my demerits in the closing.
Well, the fact is, I don’t believe I’ll be summarily rejected for lack of an opening greeting. Me being me, I feel like if I received a tug boat full of perky, overly friendly, and downright presumptuous submission emails each day, I’d want to punch someone in the face. Cut to the chase. We all know why we’re here. Sorta like long-winded and cocky bios–I don’t like to write them and it pisses me off/gives me a reason to make fun of people when I read them.
You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I think you’ll be interested to read what I am sending you. The fact is, I’ve been having sex for years now, and I fancy myself an A+ fucker. It was only natural for me to translate my sexpertise into smutty fiction. I’m sure you’ll find my submission to be the best you’ve ever read and will want to thank me in person. I will graciously allow you to buy me a drink at my earliest convenience I just know we are going to be best friends.
You may find a link to all of my illustrious writings below. Once you sample my authorial prowess, no doubt you will be interested in purchasing my other work. Use coupon code IMAJERK10 for 10% off for a limited time only.
Thanks for your consideration,
[insert revoltingly flowery pen name here]
I like a bio with a bit of mystery. Or maybe that is just my excuse for keeping them as short as possible because I hate writing them. Food for thought.
Back to my point (if I ever had one, other than trying to justify my stupidity). Does placing a specific editor‘s name on the top of one’s submission help it out of the slush pile? Without an agent or a well-known name, aren’t we all just doomed to doggy paddle around in the slushy pool? A flashy swimsuit won’t get us out of there any faster, will it? I like to think, if I don’t drown immediately, I’ve got the same chance as the kids with the Speedos on, right?
Here is an interesting link on the subject. I like this guy’s style. Of course, in the end he says “Dear Editor” is just fine. Nothing about having a cheesy log line for a greeting…
At least it got me off of Web MD for a short while. I can’t die from idiocy, can I?
- Quote of the Day #2 | The new slush pile (robot6.comicbookresources.com)
- Monetizing Slush (stevenpressfield.com)
- Souped-up Slush Pile (catherinesletters.wordpress.com)
- Want to Get Off the Slush Pile? Then Listen Very Carefully (lorrieporter.wordpress.com)
- Guest Post: How to Avoid the Rejection Blues by Heather Topham Wood + Giveaway (thesolitarybookworm.com)