Monday, December 6, 2010

Are rules meant to be broken?

A repost from May 2009, when I was wondering what to do next!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Are rules meant to be broken??
When you're a kid, if you say a bad word, you get a spanking, or a time out. When you're a teen and break curfew, you get grounded. When you break a traffic law, and get caught, you get a ticket. If you hurt someone, you get sent to jail (when the justice system works properly, that is).

Basically I'm break a rule/law, you get punished. That is what has been engraved onto my brain since the beginning of time.

But now I'm being told to break the rules...make my own rules.....

So far during this querying process....I've played by the rules. I did my research. I scoured the Internet for agent websites. I read everything they had to say. I determined if they were a good fit for my writing or not and then when the time came, I sent them my query. And I did it to the exact specifications on their website. Some ask for just a simple one-page query letter, some want a synopsis with it, others want the first 5 pages of the manuscript, some want the first chapter or even the first 3 chapters. But the point is...I followed their directions to a tee!

But now I have met someone in the publishing world who is telling me that the way to get noticed is to break the rules.

So now I'm torn.

Do I abandon everything I've ever known, basically everything I stand for??? Do I try to do it this way??? Or do I stick with what I've done in the past??? Obviously it hasn't gotten me far.


  1. ooooh wow what an interesting question. I have alwasy heard that in order to be taken seriously you have to follow the rules... bu t now I just don't know?

  2. BREAK THE RULES!!! You can do it! Go for it, playing it nice in today's market gets you NO WHERE!!


    BirthRight The Arrival, on Amazon 1.1.2011

  3. I would suggest only breaking the query rules if you have a good reason to, and to do it so it fits with your story. I just don't want to see you passed up because an agent was irked by the rule breaking. Good luck!

  4. Do both. Break and follow the rules, and do it with intent.

    For instance, I once heard of a guy submitting his resume on colored paper (like yellow or red), to encourage it to be noticed.

    And I was discussing something similar to this with my brother last week, regarding our business. You can do things to make people notice you, like wear an eye patch. It may sound goofy, but stuff like that gets an author noticed, and makes them MEMORABLE!

    - Eric