Posted by: nancycurteman | February 6, 2011

How to Avoid “Automatic Rejection” of Your Mystery Novel

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Killer Ideas

When you submit your mystery novel to an agent or publisher you hope to some day see it on a bookstore shelf. Then why do so many excellent novels end up in the slush pile? The answer is many novelists sabotage themselves and end up with what I call an “automatic rejection.” This kind of rejection has little to do with your storyline. It has to do with carelessness on your part. The best way to avoid the “automatic rejection” of your mystery novel is to visit agent/publisher websites and to review them in-depth. Here are some things to look for:

• Check to see if mysteries are the agent’s bailiwick? A publisher of children’s books won’t even look at your mystery novel.

• While visiting the agent/publisher’s website, cruise around a bit and find out the minimum and maximum number of words they will accept in a manuscript. Adhere to the standards. Don’t try to sneak in a few hundred extra words. Agents have word count tools, too.

• Most agents have stringent formatting regulations. You will find most of them under submission guidelines. Don’t just read them, comply with them.

• Agents and publishers may or may not accept electronic submissions. Find out at their websites.

• Does the publisher accept multiple submissions? If they don’t, you may not want to submit your mystery novel and have to play the waiting game—sometimes for months.

You’ve worked too hard on your mystery novel to have it tossed into the “automatic rejection” pile because of your own negligence. Check out the websites.

More writing tips:
How to Write a Query Letter for a Mystery Novel
How to Write a Synopsis of Your Mystery Novel
How to Market Your Mystery Novel

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Responses

  1. […] duke1959 Life Leave a comment When you submit your mystery novel to an agent or publisher you hope to some day see it on a bookstore shelf. Then why do so many excellent novels end up in the slush pile? The answer is many novelists sabotage themselves and end up with what I call an “automatic rejection.” This kind of rejection has little to do with your storyline. It has to do with carelessness on your part. The best way to avoid the “automatic rejection” of your mystery nove … Read More […]

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  2. Good ideas, all, Nancy! Great post.

    Like

  3. […] When you submit your mystery novel to an agent or publisher you hope to some day see it on a bookstore shelf. Then why do so many excellent novels end up in the slush pile? The answer is many novelists sabotage themselves and end up with what I call an “automatic rejection.” This kind of rejection has little to do with your storyline. It has to do with carelessness on your part. The best way to avoid the “automatic rejection” of your mystery nove … Read More […]

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  4. Thanks to you all for the “likes.”

    Like

  5. Even though I prefer to “live by my own rules,” I realize that if I want to play the “get published” game with the big boys, I must abide by THEIR rules.

    I’ve seen queries that are so bad, there is NO WAY (as an agent or publisher) I would voluntarily tackle the manuscript in question. Likewise with folks who don’t follow the basic guidelines ~ they send the message of “I’m Special and Will Be Difficult.” Not a good way of getting your foot in the door.

    Thanks, NC!

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    • I really like your analysis of why some would-be authors don’t follow the rules. Enough rejections and those egocentric individuals will get the message that the world is not their stage and they are not the star of the show!

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    • And most of them are on the “young” side. Their moms and dads told them how wonderful, special, and talented they are so many times, that they take it as a given.

      I actually saw one “young” writer say that HIS story was so good that HE didn’t have to worry about catching the typos and the grammar errors because THEY would assign him an editor and assistant to handle those MUNDANE details for him.

      He’s still looking for a publisher. And an agent. And an audience. 🙂

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      • I have difficulty comprehending such arrogance.

        Like

  6. Thank you, Nancy. A first-time author has a lot to learn, not only about writing, but also about marketing. I appreciate your help. Blessings to you…

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    • We all learn from each other. I love reading writers’ blogs.

      Like

  7. Its like going to the ear doctor for a heart transplant.

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