The Guilty Party

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rejection sans Submission

In January I ran Boomerang as a serial on my MySpace blog. What I was hoping for was some feedback, maybe even generate some interest in purchasing the book, whether it was the Quite Possibly Soon To Be Released YouWriteOn/Legend Press version or the dusty, Stubble On Its Chin version called Close Enough for Government Work. I ended up having a pretty substantial increase in blog "views", up from the typical five to ten a day to over fifty most days of the serial, but almost nobody commented so I had no idea who was looking or what they thought. As I neared the end I started pulling random chapters off the site and finally, after asking for some sort of feedback and not receiving any, did not post the last chapter and pulled the entire thing off. Marketing experiment dud.

While I was posting the chapters the method I used to alert folks to them was by sending MySpace messages to as many of my "friends" as time would allow. Since I have several publishing houses as friends I included them in some of these mailings. Yesterday I got this from Penguin in response to one of my "Hi, drop on by notes". My original "mass mailing"comes first.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Alan
Date: 16 Jan 2009, 15:33

The latest installment of Boomerang is now on my MySpace blog. Doreen and Amelia are trying to find there way around the Valley of the Sun and Ted and Jerry are trying to find their way out of Sky Harbor Airport.

Here is a short excerpt, in which Doreen is trying to get directions from a convenience store proprietor in Casa Grande:

The heat, now that was one of Eugene's favorite subjects. One of the few capable of pulling him back from memories of the theatrical wonders of Las Vegas. He indicated the radio. “You bet it’s warm. Fella says it's one-hundred-sixteen.” Emphasis on the sixteen, as if it were significantly different from one-hundred-fifteen or one-hundred -seventeen degrees. “Pretty unusual for this time of year, you know; monsoon season. But when we got the winds it usually don’t get much above, oh say, one-ten or so. Can get pretty nasty out with the humidity though.” Another nod to the radio. “Said it’s forty-three percent humid and thirty percent chance of thunderstorms tonight. But heck, they say that every night this time of year. Haven’t had a good rain yet. Nothing but a lot of show in the sky. That's the temperature at Sky Harbor anyway. One-sixteen. He ran for President you know. Back in sixty-four.”

“The man on the radio?” Amelia asked. She was still puzzling over her beverage selection. There must have been two dozen choices. No ginger ale, though. Amelia liked ginger ale.

Eugene laughed at her joke. “Now there was one hell of a man, if you’ll pardon my French,” said Eugene. “Named part of Sky Harbor after him. He liked to fly. Airplanes.“

”I don’t give a bloody damn about the airport or who likes this or that,” snorted Doreen. “Will you please give us directions to Gilbert!”

“And you just came from Sky Harbor,” said Eugene.

“Doreen, dear, would you like a Coke?” Amelia asked from in front of the soda machine. She thought she might like a Mountain Dew but wasn’t quite sure yet. It sounded refreshing.

“No!” Doreen snapped.

“Now if its one-sixteen at Sky Harbor,” said Eugene, “you can pretty well count on it being close to, oh, say, one-twenty down here.” He nodded in agreement with his own assertion and got on with the other subject at hand. “He would have shown them Veetnimese a thing or two in pretty quick fashion, yessir.”

“Are you or are you not going to tell me how we can get to Gilbert?” Doreen thundered.

“Sure, I can tell you how to get to Gilbert.” Eugene looked hurt. “All you need to do is head north about oh, maybe ten, twelve miles.” He winked at Doreen, which she didn’t like one bit. “You know, the direction you come from?"

I am running the complete novel on my blog. Please accept my invitation to come over and check it out!


From: Penguin
Date: Feb 5, 2009 3:16 AM

Dear Alan,
Thank you for your letter regarding submission of your work for publication. I'm afraid we are unable to consider any unsolicited manuscripts or synopses since restrictions of time and resources make it impossible to give full attention to the 50-60 submissions we are receiving each week.

May I suggest you approach a literary agent, a list of whose names and addresses can be found in the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook, published annually by A & C Black. An agent would be able to advise you on your work and will know the most suitable publisher(s) to whom to submit it.

Alternatively, you can visit www. penguin. co. uk for further information on how to get published.

Best Regards,
Penguin Online

Well, it wasn't really a submission, was it? But heck, it's been a while since I've added a rejection letter to my file. Nice to know I can get 'em without even really trying!

Go Ye Forth and Do Likewise.


Lexi said...

Alan, if I were you I wouldn't have that sniffy Mr/Ms Penguin Online as my friend any more!

(Stupid name, anyway. What kind of parent calls a child Penguin? Honestly.)

plumboz said...

Hmm, you may have a point.

But then again, chances are they wouldn't notice and what fun would that be?

A Bit About Me

My photo
I am a writer with a longtime interest in photography. I'm a dad, husband, photographer, and not very good guitarist. My first novel, Boomerang, is available in both paperback and ebook form at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and As a matter of fact, my second novel, The Baer Boys, can be found at exactly the same places.