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A publisher that I’d met at a party once asked me,

“Would you like my honest opinion on your work?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“It’s worthless,” he said.

“Okay,” I said. “Please, tell me anyways.”

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Mr. ———,

So that you never send us another manuscript, let me offer you a free list of reasons why we’ve rejected your so-called book, ‘Buried Alive.’

Let us begin with the book’s cover:

Buried Alive is an apt title, prophetic even, as it will surely come to pass. Unfortunately, ‘Buried Alive’ has also been used over 20,000 times. Try something more original like ‘Some Jerk Cut Down a Tree for This?

Regarding the cover art: I’d rather look at dirt being shoveled on my face from the bottom of a lonely, cold, dank grave.

Your author photo: Our office staff sincerely hopes that the image on the sleeve wasn’t your face. But, thanks for the laughs. I’d hate to see what the bus that hit you looks like.

Regarding your intro: It should have been the outro.

Your plot (?): was weighed down by inane ramblings. I was surprised the book had a spine strong enough to hold all Four-hundred and fifty pages.

Only the table of contents made sense. No, it didn’t.

The phrase ‘The End,’ though unoriginal, was a welcome touch.

Your story: I’m amazed that the package didn’t set off ‘the Stupid Alarm’ at the Post Office, and made it past quarantine. Next time, mail your novel in a self-addressed, stamped, travel and motion sickness bag.

Somehow, your manuscript ended up in the litter box. Miss Kitty ‘went’ in my shoes instead. I’m curious about one thing, when you were a kid and your dog ate your homework, did it die afterward?

Your main character’s coma-inducing story arc flat-lined seven chapters before his demise, I assume, from boredom. I wanted to scream, “Get a death!”

Your characters: Non-dimensional — perhaps as shallow as your gene pool.

The appendix: should be removed — without anesthesia — using a plastic Taco Bell spork.

About you, the Author and your message: I’ve met more interesting manikins at Macy’s when I was drunk.

Overall quality: Your tale works better than Ipecac syrup. In fact, I’d say it was a three-bag story.

 I think my puke just puked.

Sincerely,

Name withheld by request

Final Chance Publishing