I’ve had in the post today one of the most patronising letters from a publisher. Actually, it is so unprofessional a response, I am so tempted to name and shame them. Still, it isn’t like they are a big player in the market – perhaps with this poor standard of communication that is why?.
It uses the phrase “at the risk of teaching my grandmother to suck eggs” (cliché) for a start – remember this is their form rejection letter here. It also contradicts everything that I sent them indicating that not only have they not read my submission, but at the same time they didn’t even bother to read the covering letter or indeed see that there was in fact a one page synopsis with it. It also advises me (or indeed anyone else they send this junk to) . To “send a synopsis, preferably of the ‘book blurb’ type” and to “not give away the ending”. Bullshit. This is a business where any professional publisher wants to know what they are potentially buying and that it has a coherent plot that goes through to a worthwhile and plausible conclusion. It is certainly not like browsing the shelves of Waterstones looking for something to read on the train.
Every once in a while my work throws up a timewaster of the extreme. This publisher certainly takes that title. Thankfully, truly ignoramous-proportioned fools are few and far between, but this publisher is up there on my list (yes, I have a list of timewasters from my last ten years or so working as a writer, so I don’t waste my time, paper and stamps a second time).