An Idiot-Shaped Box

This post, by Zoe Spencer, originally appeared on her Colpo Di Fulmine blog on 4/26/12.

Yesterday I came across a small publisher who was looking for writers in the genre I’m currently writing in. I was quite excited until I dug deeper into their website. I’m not going to name names because I’ve no interest in getting into a fight on the internet but the overall tone was arrogant and off-putting.

I have a friend who works as an agent’s assistant in London and she says soft skills are of critical importance because the publishing industry is relationship-based. The tone of this publisher’s web site and specifically their submissions guidelines guarantee I’ll never submit to them.

The killer for me was their bald refusal to consider anyone who didn’t have AT LEAST two hundred followers on each of Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. If you don’t have that, they say, you’re not serious about your career and they have no interest in you whatsoever.

Where to start?

I’m very new to the idea of publication – this time last week I’d never submitted a thing and I still consider myself very much a learner – but this attitude suggests they expect their writers to market their books for them. I had this weird idea that was the publisher’s job. If Harper Collins tells me I need to build a web presence, fair enough. But when some relative nobody says my number of followers is more important than the story I have to tell or the quality of my writing, I shake my head and put them in an idiot-shaped box.


Read the rest of the post on Colpo Di Fulmine. Please read through to the end – it’s a kicker!

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