Before you start sending out query letters, it helps to know some of the main reasons why you might receive a rejection.
(Taken from my upcoming How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now!)
A proper query letter is critical. It’s usually an editor’s first impression of a new writer. That letter reveals so much about a person. It’s the first test a writer must pass in the submission process.
How might your query fail the test? Here are some reasons for rejections:
1. Improper formatting/poor grammar.
2. Addressed to the wrong person or to “Whom It May Concern.”
3. Omission of key requested information.
4. Poor attitude—writer comes off as cocky, overbearing, insolent, or just a jerk.
5. Querying a genre they don’t accept.
6. Author isn’t marketable.
7. Synopsis doesn’t intrigue or grab the editor/reader.
8. Editor was having a bad day.
9. A similar book is already in production.
10. Manuscript isn’t marketable or it doesn’t fit their current needs.
11. Unstable market causes problems that result in sudden submission closings or worse.
The first five reasons demonstrate the writer either can’t follow directions or will be difficult to work with. It often means instant elimination no matter how good the writing. These mistakes can (and should) be avoided. The second two you can work on to improve. The others are simply factors that are outside of your control.
What other reasons can you think of for a rejection?