How NOT to Begin a Submission E-mail

Subject: Male Author Craves Approval

Seriously? Come on, man. This is a publishing house, not the singles section of the local newspaper.

Tags: publishing

Best Slush-Pile Introduction Letter EVER!

 Dear Submissions Editor,*

I’m hoping I’ve caught you at the perfect time. Right before you embark on your summer holidays so you’re not really paying attention to work. You’re too busy dreaming of those long, lazy days ahead, lying on a beach, spending quality time with the family, watching cricket on a 60” sceen or drunkenly revealing your true feelings for your superior to their face at the office Christmas Party (tick all applicable options). Basically, the one time of year when you’ll be in the right frame of mind to say; oh, sure, Liane. Whatever. Why not? Send your little manuscript. Send it forthwith. I’ll read it first thing next year. Then you’ll return from your break in 2011 feeling refreshed and relaxed, yet also invigorated and ready to see (or read) the best in everything. I will surely seem like the next Paul Jennings when you’re in such a good mood (the jaded, disillusioned feeling that everything you’re reading is all a load of trash doesn’t actually set in until at least March, does it?). Wow. She’s an evil genius, I hear you think. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I am.

*I really mean no disrespect to your position and I hope you won’t take offence at my letter!

And You Thought “Freshly Ground Black People” Was Bad?

Yesterday Jonathan Franzen made an announcement to his readers at a publicity event in London’s Southbank. The critically acclaimed author, who was recently on the cover of Time magazine, regretted to inform his fans that HarperCollinsPublishers UK had printed an earlier version of the Freedom manuscript by mistake.

This affects stock in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Franzen’s US publisher, FSG, are the only ones to print the correct version of the text.

It is estimated that this (easy to make!) mistake will cost HarperCollinsPublishers dearly.

Read more here:

Stephen King: Just Another Delivery System

Jonathan Franzen signing copies of Freedom after a reading in Powell’s Books, Portland.

Jonathan Franzen signing copies of Freedom after a reading in Powell’s Books, Portland.

"…stealing toilet paper from the Burger King, which she had done several times trying to survive as an assistant in publishing…"

— from Life Sentences by Laura Lippman

Apple Removes Erotica from iBook Charts…

Apple Removes Erotica from iBook Charts…


"As to the Adjective: when in doubt, strike it out."

— Mark Twain

"As repressed sadists are supposed to become policemen or butchers so those with irrational fear of life become publishers."

— Cyril Connolly