This week, for the first time in a long time, I revised our writer’s guidelines. For some reason, we’ve been getting an increasing number of queries that aren’t in any way whatsoever related to writing or publishing. Over just the past weekend alone, I received queries about pets, retirement living, home building, and stocks.
Now, I do realize that some publications have titles that may be subtle or even confusing to potential readers and writers. But, we’re called WritersWeekly, for crying out loud. We clearly serve WRITERS. I have to think we’ve ended up on some sort of spam email list for writers…who are obviously going about querying ALL the wrong ways!!
I’d really like to stack the deck with new, quality articles now, before September. Why? Because, once school starts, our publishing division, BookLocker.com, explodes with new submissions. Everybody wants their book published by Christmas. Just after Labor Day, I will be frantically busy seven days a week, about 12 to 16 hours per day, until Christmas. Then, I’ll get a brief reprieve between Christmas and New Year’s before things fire back up again.
One of the reasons BookLocker is so popular is because we get a book to market in about a month (vs. up to 6 months for some of “the other guys”). So, authors know we’ll get their book up for sale on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and others sites, and in the bookstore systems, in plenty of time for the Christmas shopping season.
Anticipating the deluge that will start next week, I’d like to order some articles for WritersWeekly this week, enough to get me through the end of the year. Yes, you heard that right. I want to PAY YOU to write for us RIGHT NOW. But, we need really original article ideas. Most of the rejections we send out are due to:
1. Topics that have already been done-to-death in the industry.
2. Articles primarily for beginners. Most of our readers are full-time freelancers.
3. Numerous typos, grammatical errors, incorrect punctuation, no punctuation and no capitalization (yes, really!) and, I hate to say this but it’s true, grossly incorrect usage of the English language. We are an English-language publication serving primarily English-speaking folks. For examples, see: More World’s Worst Book Proposals And Query Letters!
4. Topics that are too general/broad. For example, “I want to write an article for you on blogging.” Exactly what about blogging and exactly how is the blogger going to learn how to make money in your article? Our guidelines state we’re looking for articles that teach writers how to make more money writing. Around 10% of the queries I receive say, “I’d like to write an article on how to make more money writing.” I, of course, need more information than that.
5. Writers who are rude. Some writers are pushy and demanding from the get-go. For example, if someone sends me a query that doesn’t tell me exactly what the article will entail, per #4 above, I may ask them to give me more information. Some respond by telling me they’re not giving away their “secret” until I give them a contract to write the article. If I don’t know what the article is actually about, I can’t assign the piece. When I explain that, some writers get extremely rude. If someone is rude to me, I’m not going to give them a contract. Life’s too short to deal with mean people.
6. Articles on how-to-write. Everybody else publishes those…which is why we don’t.
7. Writers who send unsolicited attachments. For security reasons, we don’t open attachments.
8. Writers who break all the rules in our writer’s guidelines, which tells me they didn’t bother to read them.
If you want to write for us, please read our new guidelines in their entirety first RIGHT HERE.
We look forward to hearing from you! 🙂
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
ANGELA ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
Things like this always remind me of kindergarten report cards. One of the items listed was, “Does not follow directions.” I may or may not have gotten that line checked one or two… or eight times! 😉 I’m off to read those quidelines now. 🙂