I could probably get all the data entry work done in about twenty minutes if we did not get so many interesting submissions. If I am in front of the computer for an hour, at least half that time is spent reading through the short stories with the most interesting titles. I always love it when the story has an interesting and unique title and most times I try to resist but if I read the authors cover letter and it sounds professional and well written I will assume that the story must be equally as well written.
Still, there are always those things that puzzle me. For example, people that get carried away with their cover letters and send them in with fancy shmancy script or on colored and/or scented paper. Would you send your resume in to a prospective employer this way? And then there are those that think the cover letter is the place to prepare you for how awesome the story is going to be, “this is the funniest story I’ve ever written!”
Helping Om with the data entry work has taught me so much about the correct way to send in work to a potential publisher. I wish more people knew that a well written cover letter and professional manuscript could be the deciding factor in whether or not anybody even takes the time to read what you have written.