We have several cats here. The number varies throughout the year. Hubby will bring home a stray from work or an abandoned litter to join our pack. He says he doesn't like cats but his actions speak louder than his words:-) My kids have that same gene I guess. They bring home stray critters too. We've had a wounded bunny, a couple snakes, a couple tarantulas and most impressive and cool...a wounded red tailed hawk. Once a critter gets here, it's hard to get rid of them. Even the hawk.
But's it's the cats I want to talk about today. We get their food in bulk at Sams. I always make sure to get the same kind. They really like it, it's not terribly expensive and it's a good quality food.
Not long ago, I ran out though. And it was going to be several days before I would get to Sams so I bought a small bag of some store brand. To say the least, they weren't happy with it. They gave it a good sniffing, ate a few bites then left it. The next morning when I fed them the same thing, they actually looked at me as if I'd lost my last marble. They ate just enough not to starve and I had hubby bring home their regular brand.
All of that to say...their personal taste ruled. They wanted what they wanted and that was it.
Editors, agents and readers are like that too. We each have our personal preferences. Now, I don't really care for "women's fiction". I love a great fantasy or science fiction. Mysteries have a favored spot on my shelf along with a good suspense story. I'll read the occasional romance but I really have to be in the mood.
How does this relate for you? As writers you have to consider the personal tastes of those you send your stories too. A romance story isn't going to be looked favorable upon by the editor of a horror magazine. An agent who represents only romance isn't going to think highly of an author who sends her a science fiction novel for consideration.
The homework has to be done. There are websites that list specific guidelines for magazines, websites, agents and publishers. You have to study these carefully when considering where to send your work.
So...today, I encourage each of you to study your market well. Know what kinds of things a magazine or website publishes. Study the wants of your potential agent or publisher. See what kind of things have been previously published and decide if your work fits. Yes, it's work but well worth it in the end.
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