Sunday, March 28, 2010


I was at work a few days ago and I fielded a call from a lady (and I use that term very loosely). One of her family members had written a book and this lady was sure there was nothing like it on the market. Her plan was to drop off the manuscript to a publisher so that they could read it and of course publish it. It was an interesting call.

Her: “The world needs this book!” She became a bit nasty when I told her that she could NOT drop off a manuscript to a publisher—that she would need to put together a book proposal and submit it to an editor or agent and if they liked it, they would request to read the manuscript. “So it’s come to that, you can’t just drop off a manuscript?”

Me: “Just like you wouldn’t show up at a potential employer ready to get to work- you would send a resume first and they would call you for an interview. That book proposal is the book’s resume.”

Her: “That’s just ridiculous. What about an agent- I’ll just hire an agent. What agents can I send the manuscript to."

Me: “You need to submit a book proposal to agents as well.”

Her: “That’s crazy. Then I'll send it to a publisher. What publishers can I send it to?”

Me: “Ma’am, off hand I don’t have that information. Not all publishers accept un-agented and unsolicited submissions.”

Her: “You’re not helping me at all. Why do you work there if you can’t give me advice?”

Me: “Ma’am, you can purchase xxxxx book and research which publishers are best suited for the manuscript your family member has written.

Her: “Why the h@ll would I want to do that. I’m calling that guy at the bookstore. He said you could help me and well obviously you can’t."

Me: "Obviously!"

So how was your week?




  1. Obviously obstinate.

    So tell me, can I drop off my ms?


  2. Oh, how I love this. This speaks to the writer in me and the designer, "My cousin can draw it and pick a template, too. Why do I need you - you cost too much." "Right, why do you need me, you have it all figured out and handled. Good for you, best of luck."

    You put a big smile on my face with this one.

  3. Wow! What rudeness, I hope she didn't spoil the rest of your day. She clearly has no idea how the industry works at all.

    Love the picture of cat dunking his head into the milk mug though. That looks exactly like what my cats do no matter what I'm drinking!

  4. How do you keep your patience, Saint Nancy?