Top Reasons for Rejection
We don't publish ___________________. (Fill in the blank with poetry or any one of a hundred other genres we don't publish, but that you submitted anyway.)
Your query letter bored us to death, wandered in circles, spent more time on how brilliant you are than on pitching the story (which is all we care about).
"Close but no cigar.” These submissions are certainly competent, but the stories are flat. The writing is flat. They don't bring anything new to the party. The authors don't have a unique distinct voice, which is especially important for genre and critical for a small press.
Books masquerading as the "current big thing.” These are books the author wrote just because a friend told them, "Hey, urban fantasy is big. Write that.” (Or whatever) When you don't read and love a genre, we can tell. So, be sure you read well and widely in a genre or sub-genre before submitting to us.
Tired old plots that don't have sparkling new characters that fascinate.
Your query did not include all of the requested material.