Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Q & A 12 Recycling MS?


EE, you're really okay with "You may recycle the material"? Doesn't it say, "This crap isn't really worth the two bucks it'd cost me to get it back; just trash it," or are editors glad not to have to fumble w/ another envelope?

Things were different in the old days, when you had to retype an entire novel because some editor slimed it. Nowadays, with high-speed printers, the two bucks it costs to get back a manuscript with dog-eared corners, coffee stains, a missing page, and a Post-it note on page 17 that reads, Get a load of this one; what crap! (remove Post-it after everyone's had a laugh), isn't worth it, not when the manuscript is just going into your own recycling pile anyway. Too bad all editors can't be as meticulously attentive as Evil Editor, who carefully removes each manuscript from its envelope, immediately slides it gently into its SASE, and posts it, with no chance of even a fingerprint marring it.

21 comments:

Rei said...

Oh, sure, EE, like we'll believe that lame excuse. We all know about your secret paper recycling business that you founded with the money from stamps steamed off our SASEs!

Cheryl Mills said...

I knew it! hahahaha

But still, I'd love to get back a manuscript with crap written all over it. I would analyze every dog-ear (oh! This is where he put it down. Why here?), and that page that's missing? That must be where the really funny (read:crappy, gonna keep it for laughs) stuff is.

How educational that would be.
Sigh.
Never gonna happen, is it?

Anonymous said...

Is there a cutoff date for when I know you'll never do my query letter so I can stop visiting this site?

Evil Editor said...

Presumably you wish to stop visiting because you find the site neither entertaining nor instructive--unless it's devoted entirely to you, of course, in which case it instantly becomes the most fascinating site on the web. Let's see I just need to look through my files and find yours. It's the one by anonymous, right?

Brenda Bradshaw said...

laughs - I've never sent a thing in and I find this site not only entertaining, but hugely educational as well as a writer. Hmm.

I always ask for them to be recycled. This saves postage for us, and time for them. There's something to be said for win-win situations. And I'm with Cheryl - I'd over-think every little mark, tear, dog-earred page and drive myself insane - moreso than normal.

Val Tear said...

"Is there a cutoff date for when I know you'll never do my query letter...?"

You and you alone know the cutoff date, dude. It was the exact moment you posted your idiotic question.

rachel said...

The first time I combed slush pile submissions, I was particularly pleased to find an author had enclosed "1 recycleable manuscript." Maybe that's because I'm a recycling freak. (I take items home from the office in order to recycle them, and that includes cans and bottles.)

djt said...

Cheryl - that actually happened to me once. The publishing company I’d submitted my mss to was going through a reorganization phase (they had just been bought out and were merging). They passed my book around to various departments before finally deciding not to buy it. Each of the editors had used a different color. There were notes all over it, including notes to each other about validating references, etc. I was disappointed, of course, that the book was eventually rejected—but the returned mss was a treasure chest of notes. One of those once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities.

Watercolorz said...

I’m torn.

Having the notes would prove invaluable, but I have been told that if an editor is going to return a ms they use post-its to make notes and remove them before the return.

What if I get the ms back and there are no notes to learn from. I would obsess as much about what was written as what wasn’t there.

But now I am considering the merits of a SASE.

I think I liked things better when I ‘knew’ what I was doing.

Too much food for thought and all those hungry children in Africa. ~W

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't think you're half as entertaining as you or the "minions" think. And the "instructive" purposes wear off after a few of these terrible query letters. So if you're not going to serve any useless purpose then I may as well stop visiting.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Brenda--this is a wonderful blog and I have never sent in anything either.

However, I'm one of those who would prefer the manuscript back since I one of those old, slow, ink cartridge more-expensive-than-the-printer printers, no laser here.

Evil Editor said...

Okay, but in that case, let me know the title of your terrible query letter's book, so I can remove it from the queue.

truthteller said...

I agree with Anonymous. I'm not going to keep visiting here unless something changes. I laughed today. I laughed yesterday and the day before. It has been going on for weeks now and it's getting a little old.

skint writer said...

no, no, no - don't enclose a SASE and do not leave instructions for the ms to be recycled, then EE will not know what to do with it and toss it into a corner . . . .

some months later . . .

the cleaner picks it up and gets so engrossed . . . . time passes . . . the EE arrives for work

EE: What's that you're reading?

Cleaner: It's mine, I tell you, it's mine . .

EE: Give it here . .

(EE grabs the ms, the cleaner leaves sobbing)

EE: Let's have a look at this, hmmm . . .

maybe, just maybe

Rei said...

Anonymous: If your printer is a pain, bring your manuscript on a disk or CD to Kinkos, CopyWorks, or any other such place. You'll get a better quality (and cheaper) print.

One Girl's Opinion said...

Go or stay, all you nay-sayers. Nobody cares what you do.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Holy crap. Waaaaaaaaaaa. Someone get a pacifier and plug that whining up already.

Mark Terry said...

"Too bad all editors can't be as meticulously attentive as Evil Editor, who carefully removes each manuscript from its envelope, immediately slides it gently into its SASE, and posts it, with no chance of even a fingerprint marring it."

Note that in no way does EE suggest that there is any, er, reading of said manuscript here between Point A (Opening Envelope) and Point B (Sending it Back with its SASE). I believe this is the Shoveling Shit Method of dealing with a backload of work.

Best,
Mark Terry
www.mark-terry.com

Anonymous said...

I've been visiting this blog since it first appeared--as well as miss snark and pub rants--and this is only the third time I have ever even posted a comment, let alone submitted anything to one of them. If Anonymous the first has some aversion to humor and personal edification, he can certainly go elsewhere. I happen to find these resources hugely helpful. I tailored my query letter according to advice I found here, and received a request for a partial from the second agent who saw it.

Moreover, I found vital information on snarky's blog on SASEs for international submissions--very important for us Canucks.

But all other considerations aside, I visit EE so I can start the day with a laugh (or two, or three). I can only hope the quagmire of human excrement that is his slush-pile does not improve enough for him to retire from this blog. ;)

Julia said...

I hate the SASE. But, if an editor/agent asks for it...I'll send it.

I can visualize the big slush pile, and some intern saying, "This jerk can't even follow the instructions...Out you go!"

Kendall said...

So if you're not going to serve any useless purpose then I may as well stop visiting. [emphasis added]

ROFLMAO!