Oblivion Press Limited

New York • Toronto • London • Paris • Buenos Aires • Tokyo • Sydney

Dear Supplicant:

Please excuse this form letter response, but your submission doesn't rate anything better. Publishers are rich, and we didn't get that way by throwing away good money on secretaries. Publishers are powerful, and we didn't get that way by wasting our valuable time on little people. Publishers are leaders, and we didn't get that way by following lost souls around in the back woods. In short, you should be grateful that we even bothered to reply at all.

We regret to inform you that your submitted material does not guarantee us a sufficiently high profit margin for us to bother investing any of our resources into it. You may be comforted to know that your material was briefly skimmed by a temporary employee with no aptitude, who probably made a decision to reject your material based upon some childish foible or psychic flatulence, and that it probably has some literary merit, if anyone is willing to spend more than fifty seconds on it ... which we are not. You may be assured that if we ever truly wanted to create a silk purse from a sow's ear, then we would do so without compunction for our employee's relatives and friends, for our partner's divorce lawyers and paramours, for our fellow elitists, and for those authors who include explicit personal photographs. If extortion and nepotism was good enough for our founders, then it's good enough for us!

We're not going to apologize for our "no multiple submission" policy, nor for taking almost forever to inform you of our decision, because of the standard Golden Rule ... the one with the gold makes the rules. It's too bad that your work has grown stale while residing in our slush pile, and that television has done re-runs of your storyline or plot hook, but that's not our problem ... someday, when you are in the mood, telephone us for a short list of our current crises. If writing wasn't so easy, and we weren't overwhelmed with more material than we could possibly use in the next century, and if we didn't spend months in editorial conferences and weeks in marketing committees, then you could have a prompt reply ... and you'd quickly know not to quit your day job for haphazard freelancing.

Let me put it this way: try to remember that publishing is a business built on the labor of wordsmiths, who are paid as little as possible; so words are sold like widgets as long as there's a gullible market. Publishing has nothing to do with "literature", so don't bother us with nauseating plaints about "eternal verbiage", because anything that old isn't protected by exclusive copyright. Maybe the next time you compose something, you'll stay focused on the bottom-line ... the one drawn by our accountant, and not by your desktop computer. Good luck on your new venture.


Kent Reed
Junior Assistant to the Deputy Associate Editor