Saturday, June 30, 2012

Important Advice for Authors - and those who want to be.

Listed below is some honest advice to those genuinely looking to overcome "hidden" hurdles to getting your book or story published.

Take it on board -

It can be intimidating to put your work out there for someone to judge its merit and profitability, there are some things that you can do that will really hurt your chances of getting a contract or even any feedback at all. The following are a couple things that could cause you to fall at the first hurdle:

The absolute worst thing that you can do is ignore the submission guidelines.
They are there for a reason—to explain to you how the publisher would like your submission to look! This isn’t an instance where personality or being “different” is going to shine. The publisher asks for submissions to be formatted and emailed in a certain way so that it makes their job easier. If you are interested in working with them, please read their guidelines. If you have a question about something you have read, email themfor clarification. They don’t bite…

Did you edit your email, blurb, synopsis, and manuscript before sending it?
Did you also run it past another person who has good grammar skills before sending it? If not, do not press the send button! Poorly written emails are a good indication that the rest of your submission is poorly written as well. Weeding through a page of text, let alone an entire story, that does not follow proper grammar rules or includes misspellings every other sentence is torture to someone who is actually interested in what you have written. Get an editor, critique partner, beta reader, or even a retired English teacher to look over your work before submitting it.

If you are waiting to hear back about your submission, please don’t complain about it in social media venues.
It is okay to be anxious and impatient, but keep it to yourself, rant to your family, or check in with the publisher by email. Remember - publishers receive a large number of submissions each week and pride themselves in giving each the attention they deserve. Smearing their name because you are not happy with our turnaround time ruins their credibility and makes them "irate", especially if you link your comment to our Facebook page or Twitter account. Yes, they pay attention and read. Be professional and don’t burn that bridge.

So there they are—three of the many ways to turn off a potential publisher before you have a book contract in hand.

Next time - More important advice about pleasing a VERY important person. Your Editor!

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