So, I sent in my manuscript on the 24th of May to another publisher, and they answered on the 28th! Now, before you start popping the champagne, let me inform you the answer was a resounding ‘no.’
Now, a publisher that answers that fast is never a good sign. There are only two possibilities when you receive an answer this fast after sending in a synopsis and your full manuscript with your cover letter.
First possibility: they read your synopsis, didn’t like the premise of your story, moved on to the next manuscript, which is fair. Not ideal because, as I have mentioned before, synopses are boring résumés of your novel, so they don’t contain all the intricacies of your work but still fair.
Second possibility: they read nothing. Nada. Niente. Rien. Zip. Zilch. Not your synopsis, not your bio; they barely glanced at your cover letter. They took one look at the first line of your cover letter and decided you weren’t worth their time. It happens. It’s not fair, and it’s unprofessional on their part, but it happens more often than they would like to admit.
Why do they do this? Because they want to lower that sludge pile. A ginormous pile of manuscripts all sent in by hopeful writers wanted to ‘get discovered’—the poor, delusional things. What’s more, when you get refused this fast, odds are a senior editor didn’t even get a chance to look at your work. That person didn’t even get to see the colour of your avatar accompanying your email. Why? Because all publishing houses (the big ones at least) all have readers, junior editors, or assistants who are in charge of going through that pile and digging out something worth the real editor’s time. So, if junior over there didn’t like your cover letter, your synopsis, your bio, heck, your avatar, you’re not getting through.
So, more and more, it’s looking like I’m going to self-publish. We are already in June, which means the following submissions will be my last. I only have three months left. That’s fine. I’ve made my peace with that eventuality.