Cold-calling an editor is NEVER okay.
Let me repeat that in case it wasn’t clear. It is NEVER okay to cold-call an editor. Or a publishing house. Or an agent, for that matter.
Seriously you guys, I don’t understand why writers think this is a good idea. I’ve had no less than three writers get me on the phone somehow in the last month, and before I can even say a word, they’re pitching their book to me.
Not okay. There are submission guidelines. They are easily available. There is a hotline you can call to hear them. If you send us an SASE we’ll send you a copy of them.
Phone calls? Are never okay.
I never know how to respond to these people. I don’t want to be rude to them, especially when most of them are so polite and gracious, but really! If you want to get your book published so badly, wouldn’t you have done your damned research? Calling me up and wasting my time and making me feel bad telling you in person to get off the phone is only going to piss me off and think that you’re unprofessional, and probably not a pleasure to work with.
Of course, if you have a relationship WITH A PARTICULAR EDITOR, it’s fine to call her, even just to say hello (but not too often; you don’t want to be known as “that annoying author who keeps calling me.”) But if you do not (and having a pleasant interaction with them at a conference DOES NOT count as a relationship) do not call.