About this book

This book started as a long-term project back in 2005 or so, when I was challenged to read more current works of fiction in the genres I was wrting. My reading habits at the time were slim – mainly Analog Science Fiction and Fact and it was clear by my early work that this was not my target market.

I was getting rejections along the lines of “this is not your target market” and other polite (and some not-so-polite) ways of telling me to read the markets to which I was submitting.

This is hard for a new writer, as there are many markets, and some small and some large. It is also dangerous for new writers to think they need to write to a specific market. Understanding what a market prefers is good, but really the point is for the writer to find their voice and then find markets where that story and voice match.

So please don’t think this project is about “rules of writing.” There are no rules outside of grammar, but there are rules of marketing and rules of professionalism, things like ‘follow the submission guidelines’ is a pretty important rule. If an editor says they want at attachment, you send an attachment. If they want a paper copy in manuscript format, than that is what you give them.

I have talked to many successful writers, and not one of them said any story has ever sold because of typography, but many editors have told me tales of stories that were rejected because of the simple failure to follow simple instructions.


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