Thursday, April 16, 2015
A Close Call by Terry Burns
Yes, it was a close call.
I was quickly scanning my junk file before tossing it and I spotted an email in there from a publisher wanting to set up a phone call.
I immediately whitelisted them, of course, and quickly wrote back.
I used to have my junk file set to dump automatically since it was getting so good at catching things that it was rare for anything to get through. But I did have a few things get through, so I went back to scanning the titles before dumping them.
That brings me to the topic of what I want to hit today. An email from a publisher or editor or such is pretty easy to spot on a casual scan so I am unlikely to miss them. An occasional submission still gets by me though because a large number of emails in there have people's names on them as senders and there is nothing in the subject like to alert me that it is a submission.
These days I only work electronically, both with submissions and with editors and publishers. It is so much faster, and if a project is to move forward it is going to be with an electronic file anyway. No publisher wants to have to typeset all those keystrokes the way they used to. I very seldom have to send a hard copy submission to anyone, so I really have no use for them, and don't take them. Should I need one I can print it myself off the electronic file.
This means it is vitally important for your correspondence to have the proper subject line on it in case it ends up in that junk file. How would you be expected to know this in advance? Check the submission guidelines. All agents, editors and publishers have submission guidelines and it is the quintessential mark of the amateur to not check those guidelines before sending to anyone.