The Slush Pile

In the dark, dank cellar of agents’ and publishers’ offices, towers the slush pile, where unsolicited manuscripts come to die. There are a few agents who enjoy going through the slush pile, but generally these manuscripts will be looked over by the lowliest member of staff, often a student or fresh-faced trainee, sometimes even a ‘volunteer’.

The student retains some naïve optimism for a few days, but soon bitterness sets in with the realisation that, at the very least, 80% of the pile is a waste of time, ink, paper, stamps and CO2. The student will rarely spend more than five minutes reading your magnum opus. After all, the task in hand is simply to decide if the work has even the slightest measure of merit and then to pass it up the food chain.

If your book makes it out of the cellar alive, there will be another similar sifting process where, once again, the rejection rate is about 80%. Only about 5% of unsolicited manuscripts ever get to the desk of a person with a reasonable degree of power and authority. Now, if you are very lucky, someone may read more than the first three pages. If you are very, very lucky, then that person may read up to forty pages.

You are still a very long way from publication; you are still quite a long way from anyone actually reading your book.

The Hardy & Knox Slush Report will help you out of the slush pile and into the hands of someone who might just, on a really good day, with the wind set fair and the holiday season approaching, give a damn.

Slush Report Samples

Three examples of Slush Reports can be downloaded here.
Tube Strike
An upmarket commercial women’s novel set in the London fashion world
American satire set in the dot com boom
Cursed in Fire
Gothic slasher novel with a biblical background

Related Links

The Slush Report