Never Try to Teach a Pig to Sing

Received several "edgy" submissions lately. All were rejected because I'm a "mainstream" LDS publisher.

If you want to save yourself time, expense and grief over rejection, here is a clue: Check out what the publisher has published in the past. If they've NEVER published in your genre, chances are you won't get accepted.

The only exception to this might be a very small publishing house. Maybe they haven't published fiction yet, but are willing to look at it. Maybe they've only published romance, but would be willing to look at fantasy. If this is the case, you can usually find another clue...

Check the submission guidelines on their website. Most will have a list of what they do and don't accept, what they're looking for, what they give preference too, etc.

Or a short phone conversation with the receptionist, "I've noticed you've only published pioneer fiction. Is your company thinking of expanding into other genres..?" (If they say no, politely thank them and hang up. Don't argue with the receptionist who has absolutely no power to change policy. And don't even think of arguing with the editor or the president of the company, who if they wanted to change their policy would have already done so.)

And if they say "mainstream LDS publisher" or "we want manuscripts that are supportive of LDS principles and beliefs" or other wording of that sort, then do NOT send them an expose (why won't this do accents?) on Joseph Smith or a treatise on early Church doctrine that has been hushed up. Sorry, it's not going to fly.

Reminds me of a postcard I used to have on my fridge, "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig." Not that publishers are pigs. And not that we don't sing. But you get the idea.

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