- By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jun 23 2008
It’s been a long time since I’ve reported in on my submissions—what I read and my decisions. I know readers like to see this from time to time, so here we go. . . .
The weekend was incredibly productive for me. I was able to get a lot of queries read from Friday to Sunday. Keep in mind, I did not look at requested material that may have come through via email, but simply unsolicited query letters. I was about a week behind in my reading, which means that some things might have been a week old, but nothing had been sitting in my in-box any longer than that and, frankly, most of what I read was between 5 and 7 days old. In other words, this was roughly 2 to 3 days’ worth of queries.
In those 3 days I read 79 submissions. The sad thing about that is that I sill have over 100 queries sitting in my in-box.
- Of those 79 I rejected 73.
- I requested 5 partials and 1 full (the author had wisely included about 3 to 5 pages in her query).
- I received 2 queries that told me a great deal about the author and her background, but nothing about the book (other than title).
- 2 queries I forwarded to either Jacky or Kim because, while I rejected them, I thought Jacky or Kim might have some interest.
- 2 authors sent the letter and/or other materials as an attachment rather than in the body of the email, while 5 authors sent no letter, simply author name, title, genre, and the synopsis. I really prefer a letter.
- Only 11 of the 79 queries were nonfiction.
- 3 were sent to my assistant instead of me and needed to be forwarded
- 4 of the emails were simply asking questions about a previous rejection, submission policies, or something else publishing-related.
- And last, 2 of the emails, both from the same person, were haranguing me for giving advice on writing a stronger query, called me stupid (among other things), and told me point-blank that all authors are superior to me. Interesting weekend reading.
Keep in mind that my reasons for rejection are long and varied. Some, at least 2, were for YA or middle-grade books, which I don’t represent. Some, at least 2, were far outside acceptable word counts, and while I think word counts can always be stretched, these were a little too far (below 30,000 words and above 175,000). Some sounded interesting, but just not different enough. Some sounded different enough but the writing in the query did not give a positive indication of how the writing in the book would hold up. And some just didn’t inspire me.
I feel pretty good about my weekend. You? How was your weekend?