Quick Note to Folks, Re: Sending Me Your Material

So, in the last week I’ve had quite a few people congratulating me on my book deal (thanks!) and then attaching samples of writing work or art work or resumes for various editorial skills, etc, in the hope I might have some use for them, or just because.

I appreciate the thought. However:

1. Note I typically don’t open unsolicited attached files because of the potential for viruses and other electronic misadventure;

2. All my ancillary publishing tasks are handled by my publishers, so the answer as to whether I might have use of your talents is “no.” My publishers might, but you’d have to check with them and go through their particular submission process for various tasks they might have.

3. I don’t forward materials to my publishers because each of them has their own intake process of applications/submissions and I would rather encourage people to use the processes established by the publishers than to try to shortcut the process by going through me. The processes are there for a reason;

4. Should I decide to do self-pub in the future (and who knows! I might!) and need to hire artists, copyeditors and so forth, I will do solicitations at that time. Sending materials to me before then simply means the emails will be archived and likely not read again.

Once again, I do appreciate the thought and materials sent. But if you are job-seeking, I’m really not the right person to send the materials to. Thanks.

29 Comments on “Quick Note to Folks, Re: Sending Me Your Material”

  1. You are again kind and generous towards these individuals by understating the timing of their correspondence. Its seems rather obvious that if you had not been in the news for your contract that they would not now be hitting, “send.” The only real characterization of it is slimy, but you are a good enough person to give the benefit of doubt.

  2. It’s not because of the deal, it’s because in order to get published, we all have to be approved by a member of the Official SJW Cabal (TM). As you are the most visible member, of course you are receiving the bulk of submissions.

  3. General rule when someone you dont know knocks on your door and says ‘I am not here to sell you anything’ they are here to sell you something. John is being alot more polite than I would be. Stuff like this is just annoying.

    john just opened the door to trolls. post fake scalzi hiring ads on the web., then he will get 1000s of emails.

  4. At first I thought it was going to be timid young writers hoping for encouragement; then I read the whole post and that’s that not all you’re getting. Yikes! It’s tough out there for a role model.

    So, just ignore that package I sent you with the 1,200-page 8 pt-font, epic-fantasy-saga complete with talking animals, magical metals, possessed swords, long descriptions of food and brilliant, insightful social commentary.

  5. This clearly does not apply to me. My unedited writing sample is *different* and clearly superior to the others, so I have sent it anyway.

    The trucks will be arriving on Monday. You should read each truck in the order in which it was packed, but you can read the individual truck loads in any order.

  6. Wow, some people are either incredibly thoughtless or intensely self-absorbed (possibly both). How tacky to congratulate you on being published and in practically the same sentence hit you up for assistance and favors with their own stuff. It says a lot about you that you’re as polite as you are to such persons.

  7. But but, you don’t understand, if you just follow this One Weird Trick, you too can enjoy a 8 figure income!

  8. That covers all the publishing needs, but what of my inquiry regarding your needs for a personal churro chef?

  9. I would like to apply for the position of “sit in the hot tub and drink gin & tonics”.

    References and salary requirements available upon request.

  10. I suppose my sending you a copy of my novel would be included in this, in which case, sorry about that. Do you have any advice concerning sending people stories unsolicited?

  11. Never send unsolicited anything to anyone.


    It’s a really simple rule that works under all situations.

    It includes spam, door-to-door salesmen/Jesus salesmen, authors, movie directors, publishers, large companies, and random human beings on the internet or in real life.

    No off-brand Viagra, no aluminum siding, no pamphlets about your church, no “I have this great idea and demand you read it”, no “Hire me!”, no dick pics, no hassling at a con or a bar.

    In many cases, the person you’re bothering either has no need for it (like John), no time for it (everyone), legal reasons to avoid even looking at it (movie and TV producers), or will think you’re a clueless asshole (every item I have listed above).

    Never send unsolicited anything to anyone.

  12. @D Paul Angel; should we collaborate? Or should our talking animals engage in a duel?

  13. My first thought on reading this was “is reading for comprehension not taught in schools any more?”. My second was “are people really that ignorant of what it is publishers do?” Then I realised a lot of the people who are doing these things are judging all publishers by the sort of things that “publishers” like Amazon or small-run POD groups like Lulu are offering writers (“here, we’ll be your distribution platform, but everything else is Your Problem”), and making all kinds of category errors as a result.

  14. Congratulations on your book deal! Good luck — it’s well-earned.

  15. From a “How NOT to get published!” Panel at a con. The editors ran through the far-too-familiar poor submission formats & got into more bizarre ones. (Handwritten in orange crayon). Then they went over cover letters. Putting a cardboard cutout of a hand giving the middle finger with the comment “this is for you if you reject my story!” probably not a good idea.

  16. Considering the rest of the comments I can’t tell if the post above offering loans is spam or sarcasm. Bravo internet troll spammer!

  17. “The processes are there for a reason;”

    –>Speaking on behalf of all publishing employees who have cause to hire freelancers: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    (Now if you could also explain that to some of our authors…)

  18. Dear John,

    The Beatles’ “Paperback Writer” has always been one of my favorite songs, since my college days. And, the more writerly I become, the funnier it gets.

    Maybe it’s a good time to remind people that you have published policies on all this?


    Not that most of the folks spamming you will ever bother to look, but mebbe a few…

    In the spirit of all of this, I hereby promise to never offer to correct your male pattern baldness nor enhance your penis. You are lovely just the way you are.

    pax / Ctein

  19. I’m really looking forward to “Ancillary Publishing”, about a ship-AI-turned-human who retires and writes her memoirs.

  20. How about music? Can I send you a video of my son’s band? I live vicariously though him since I went deaf.

  21. At lesst they are doing it electronically (?)

    I was going to send you my handwritten 726-page-long (written in red ink on both sides of the looseleaf notebook pages) magnus-opus-LOTR-replacement-for-a-new-generation, but I reconsidered after:

    (a) calculating the required postage
    (b) realizing some dude named Gurg Martinling (or something) has stolen my idea! Yes! Yes! Stolen My Idea! Not only that, he Sold My Idea to some TV-production-company, and he is now rolling in even more dough than Scalzi, if this is possible.

    Forget SJW’s! It’s Gurgle Martinling that’s holding me back and keeping the secret handshake entry-password to Publishing Glory, Fame, and Wealth out of my poor wee downtrodden handses.

  22. Of course, I am not sending you and material. I want a signed contract in my hand before I give up any my valuable thoughts. The fact that I can use spell check and write three sentences in a row should convince you my skills and value.

    The fact that I couldn’t notice the difference between any and and should convince of my snark.