...back to P'kaboo Publishers

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The 2 BIGGEST Submissions Mistakes to Avoid

You've written a book.  What's next?  Submissions.

But before you shoot off your work of love to a publisher, consider the following.  There are certain things publishers detest.  I'll give you two, right here, to get you started on the right road.

  • Don't submit by smartphone.

Yes we know, today one can do everything from a phone.  Your emails are on your phone.  You come across an interesting website and "drop them a line", by phone. You know what?  It shows!  The Windows Smartphone "autocorrects" your words into what you didn't want to say.  Also, a lot of spelling errors and poor grammar slip through on a phone message.  As an individual writing a quick message I will forgive you this; but if a submissions letter starts with "I wrote a bokk, pls cn u hve a lppk at ti", you have blown it.  Forever.  It doesn't matter if it was your phone, if your book is top quality (though after such a "sub" I battle to believe this).

Don't shoot your own foot.  Open that computer, find the link, then compose a carefully considered subs letter in Word or Libre, utilize the spell checker and send it after re-reading it carefully.  If you don't want to waste time writing a decent subs letter, why should I waste my time on the rest of whatever you've written?

Remember:  When contacting a publishing house, everything you write in that opening email is a submissions letter.  First impressions count.


  • Have you spell-checked your manuscript? 

One of the most annoying things for a submissions editor (and any editor) to find are common spelling and grammar errors. Common old gremlins.

Listen!  Back in the time of manual typewriters, we had Tipp-Ex (sic) strips to correct where we made most embarrassing typos.  You may be of the new generation that has never seen a genuine typewriter, let alone clocked up hours on one; in which case you are spoilt and should be spanked.  ;-)  Just kidding.  But typewriters disciplined us into saving time by not making spelling errors, and by trying to minimize all other errors.  Because a single error cost you retyping the whole page.  Even after Tipp-Ex, you couldn't include a page that had too many corrections on.  You retyped.

Today every word processor has a spell-checking function, a dictionary and a thesaurus.  If it doesn't, download LibreOffice, it's a free download and definitely has.

Do not submit a manuscript you haven't spell- and grammar checked!  It frustrates the editor and detracts from your chances.

I'll give you one more.

  • Submit exactly, I mean exactly, what is asked for.

If the publisher asks for 3 chapters and your book only gets exciting in chapter 6, by all means submit chapter 6, and two other selected chapters.  But don't expect the subs editor to read the entire 400 pages manuscript if 50 pages were what was asked for.

Blowing your own horn also won't help.  The tired response is, yaah, we know, you're the best author who's ever walked this Earth.  We know you think that.  All writers think that.  It's part of the essential arrogance one needs to be a writerDon't blow your horn.  Let your work speak for itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment