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One Way to Create a Lasting (Negative) Impression

English: stamp with the words "Fail"...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has happened again.

Today, I received a very polite pitch for a guest blog post. Those of you long-time readers know I rarely host guest posts. When I do, I solicit them from friends and colleagues in the writing community.  So, problem numero uno: an unsolicited pitch to a market that doesn’t accept them.

Next, I’d like to share the subject line from the guest post:

An Idea for a Potential Guest Post: The Debate Surrounding Tenure and Education Reform.

Ah, Houston? We have just crash landed on problem number two. See, not only do I NOT accept unsolicited queries, when I do ask for posts, they are about WRITING. I know, right? Brainstorms & Bylines is about WRITING? Who knew?

Based on the fact that the writer in question included a reference to this link: barbaratyler.wordpress.com/tag/submissions/ I’m inclined to believe that the writer toddled over to wordpress and did a keyword search on “submissions” and then fired off the proposal to whatever sites popped up.

Those of my friends who routinely wear an editor’s hat are quietly snickering at me right now, because they deal with this ALL THE TIME. It only happens to me once a month or so. (I can hear you. Stop it. Now.)

This brings us to problem number three. This writer has demonstrated three things.

  1. Laziness
  2. Lack of respect for me and my time
  3. Questionable integrity. After all, if the writer already took this shortcut, what other shortcuts can I expect? Plagarism? Invented quotes?

All of these things create a lasting impression, and I’m sure you can guess, it’s not a favorable one. Now, even if I started accepting queries tomorrow, and the writer pitched an appropriate topic, this one little piece of correspondence has rendered this writer, in my mind, untrustworthy.

Take heed, my darlings. If you want to stand out in the crowd at the slush pile, this is not the way to go. Research your markets. Do your homework. And most importantly, learn how to be someone the editor WANTS to hear from.

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