Inevitably, predictably, one of my latest posts attracted tetchy comments from a couple of scorned authors who accused me of not reading their manuscript before landing them with a rejection.
One of them said: "You must have read a couple of chapters and sent a standard rejection letter. Hand on heart: have you read my whole manuscript?"
Of course not. My point was that I at least try to have a look at every submission that is sent to us. I do not rely on readers' reports. Naturally I don't see children's books, poetry, fantasy and horror submissions, because we don't publish in that genre and the prospective authors have not even bothered to read our submission policy. But I do look at every submission, however briefly – I cheese-taste, if you like. It doesn't take me more than a few pages to know if a manuscript could fit in our list, and not more than fifty to know if it's a title for us.
So, scorned authors of the world, please do not take it personally and accept that our rejection is only a personal reaction to your work, and there may still be thousands of publishers out there who could publish your work. And I promise I won't cry if you strike us off your list.