Agent Kristin tells what knocks 90% of submissions off her desk and back to the writer.

Killer Openings.

I agree. I've judged a few contests, seen the slush, and had unsolicited books sent despite the "don't do this" statements on my FAQ page. Many, many, MANY of them had the same flaws mentioned on this blog.

If you're thinking agents/editors don't actually read submissions and just pick the top three off the pile to grant immortality to that month, think again. It's a dumb-ass way to run a business, any business. Those top three subs might be terrible!

They really DO want to find the next Big Writer--but writers have to meet them more than halfway by subbing something worth buying.

It ain't up to chance--it's up to the writer to WRITE WELL.

And even when you've sold books and have an agent, you still have to work hard on the openings. I had that in mind for my latest proposal. It collected 7 rejections before finding a home and took a good 6 months to do it. That's on the fast track, too, with my agent nagging them.

But hey--a contract! A check!