In the “This is freaking annoying” category, the increasingly out of touch Wall Street Journal tries to cover The Death of the Slush Pile. Never mind that the author trots out the same old chestnuts about bestsellers being rejected and Pultizer-winners being plucked from the slush, she adds a dose of “Wasn’t the internet supposed to fix this?” and “Connections still matter!” then goes straight to confusing book publishing slush with film/TV script slush. Grrr.
Here’s an instructive experiment: try sending an unsolicited filmscript query to a Hollywood film agency. One that represents writers.
It’s a waste of time and trees. If you want to be in movies or TV, you ought to be making connections. You ought to be making friends who are trying to break in, too. Help them with their projects. They help you with yours. Meet people. Don’t be crazy. Get an entry-level job or gig.
Publishing isn’t like that. You can write a letter from anywhere and mail it in. A certain percentage of agents will reject you, and the same is true of publishers. Probably, it’ll be a large percentage. That’s not something to worry about; you just need to find the right person to put your book in front of readers.
But this is an article that wraps up by calculating the odds of selling a story to a magazine by comparing the number of stories published with the number of stories submitted, so it’s pretty clear this is a ignorant mish-mash.