Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Queasy Query? Woozy Writing!

A few things need to be mentioned before I delve into the main entree.

I am now at peace with myself as it pertains to my job. I'll elaborate on Monday, but for now, this re-found state of being has for better or worse, allowed me to jump start my writing this past Palm Sunday. And also to a small degree, it has allowed me to start observing my surroundings in greater detail, be they animate (especially animate) or inanimate.

And now, the main entree.

I decided early on that I would do a focused split of my latest project, meaning that I would query both agents and publishers.

While the agent side of the query process ha been relatively straight forward, the publisher side of the query process has been at the very least, odd.

To whit:

So far, I've found three potential publishers to query: Freaky Fountain Press, Liquid Silver Books and Solstice Publishing.

Of those three, the only one that I've felt comfortable in querying was Freaky Fountain Press.


Freaky Fountain Press makes it crystal clear on what exactly it is that they want and will consider, and what they won't consider. As a newbie writer, having clear and concise guidelines on what a publisher wants or doesn't want is about the best way thing that one can hope for.

As for the other two, one has already been dropped from consideration. Liquid Silver Books also has a plethora of guideline of what they'll accept or not accept. However, there was one particular sentence in their guidelines (under the tab Taboo) that to me, sounded very ambiguous.

Now keeping in mind that they publish all sorts of erotica, one of the types of writing that they will not accept is their version of pornography. Considering that my book is about a woman who goes into adult movies to pay off her loan shark, you can readily see why I would want clarification of that last sentence.

So I sent off a polite e-mail to them asking for clarification of their statement "Their version of pornography".

This was on March 28th, and I have yet to hear back from them. Not very good customer service if you ask me. I may look into resending my question sometime in the future, but for now, they have been relegated to the back burner.

As for the other publisher, I really didn't have a problem with what they would accept, since they made it pretty clear. My question was more in line with how they wanted the submission formatted/attached.

They stated that they wanted the entire manuscript attached to the e-mail, either as a Word document or as an RTF document. What wasn't made clear was if they wanted it as one long document or a series of small documents.

So I found their contact form and sent off a query asking that very question. As of this post, I have not received a response. I'm not entirely worried yet because I'm factoring in how busy they must be and the fact that it was sent on weekend.

Still, it doesn't bode well or make that good of an impression if the average response time to a basic submission question that wasn't covered in the author's FAQ is more than a week. I mean, I once sent off a e-mail to another publisher about a contest they were running, and I got a response the very next day.

In any event, this is just a sample of what I'm probably in store for as I slug my way through the various publishing entities that are out there, be they print or be they e-books.


Is just the same as hooking, except that you're giving it away for free in the hopes that you'll become a high paid escort.

Or in my case, a gigolo.


  1. I'd totally want to be published by a house called Freaky Fountain Press!

  2. See, the bad directions thing is really everywhere!
    Don't you feel vunerable sending the whole thing to consider too?
    I'd just go with one doc or split part 1. part 2.

    Prob won't matter for size, due to text not being alot of memory-

    Maybe person was celebrating Seder or off for Easter or school vaca with kids this week, btw-

  3. R: It's a pretty interesting website. In order to peruse certain links (i.e. short stories) you have to register, which is for free.

    Beyond that, they are extremely graphic. They even tell you this upfront in their guidelines what kind of language is acceptable.

    Hint: it's the kind of language you see in a porn movie or hear during an intimate moment in the bedroom, or that you have on your blog header.

    Snaggle: Yes, they are everywhere. Even when I'm querying agents, it often takes me a half hour to properly decipher what they actually want.

    Honestly, I have no problem sending the whole thing if need be.

    However, usually it's at the end stage of a particular query that you would send the entire thing.

    Most agent/publishers want to see as little as a synopsis or as much as synopsis plus the first 50 pages.

  4. I wouldn't expect you'd ever hear from a publisher with a request to clarify something like that. Most small publishers wouldn't have time to respond to those kinds of requests. You'd probably have much, much better response time to sending the whole query to such a publisher and waiting on that. Some publishers might even be irritated by such a question. Not sure.

  5. Charles: It's possible that they would be irritated by a question like that, but I'm thinking the same way when I apply for a potential job opening.

    One of the ways most agencies weed out prospective candidates is to see if their application package contains exactly what they ask for.

    So I would think that it would be in my best interests to send exactly what they want and how they want it. A little clarification never hurt anyone and I would think in the long run that it can only help them weed out writers who are unable to follow a specific guideline to the letter.

    I would rather be rejected because the quality or content of my writing isn't what they're looking for, than be rejected outright because I can't follow a publisher's guidelines.


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G. B. Miller

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