Its not what you know, but who you know is what the ubiquitous ‘they’ say. So bearing this in mind I sought advice on how to find a publisher from an acquaintance who happens to be a well known author. I will call him Mr A.
Mr A gave me the name and address of his publisher who I will call Mr P. He also suggested that, as publishers do not like unsolicited mail, I should write, quoting Mr A’s name, and ask Mr P if I might send him my manuscript.
Mr P replied saying that the Children’s Editor (who I will call Ms CE) dealt with children’s literature and I should write to her, quoting his name, asking if I might send her my manuscript and keeping the letter short and to the point This I did.
Ms CE wrote back (eventually) saying “I regret that we do not publish your kind of book”
I wrote again to Mr P asking how his Children’s Editor knew that she did not publish my kind of book when I had said nothing about it. I had not mentioned the title, the plot or the age group at which it was directed.
Mr P replied that his Children’s Editor’s word was final!
The moral of this story is Its not what you know – its not who you know either.