Monday, March 8, 2010

Writing Tips When Submitting

Few challenges a would-be author will face in his or her writing career will match the anxiety that writing a query can bring. A writer can have one of the best manuscripts ever available to submit, but if his or her query does not give justice to the manuscript, it may never be given a chance. Therefore, for our blog readers, we would like to offer some suggestions that we hope might be helpful in future endeavors.

As when writing any letter, be sure to address the correct individual or publisher. A common mistake that happens daily is for writers to submit query letters en masse. By that, we mean a single query letter is written, the name of the first intended recipient is added, and the query letter is sent out to all future possible publishers with the original publisher’s name still on it. Not only is this unprofessional, but it can also open up questions as to the manuscript itself.

Although some writers may believe that they are the future J.K. Rowling, Danielle Steele or Stephanie Meyers, telling a publisher this will not impress anyone. Originality is highly prized in the publishing world. While publishers are running a business, and therefore are desiring to make sales, they want to hear that a writer is going to be great and offer something new, not something that has already been done before.

Submission guidelines are offered to save publishers and writers time. They exist to provide writers the opportunity of locating the best publisher for their work and to provide publishers with the specific area they are interested in publishing. If a publisher is not interested in a specific genre (i.e. submitting horror to a romance publisher), it behooves the writer to find an appropriate publisher.

Poorly written query letters will make publishers think the manuscript is poorly written. Most queries are a few paragraphs long, a page at most. If a writer did not check for spelling, grammar, or if his or her query message comes across clearly on such a short length query, most will assume the manuscript is similarly written. Always edit a query and have a second, third and possibly even fourth person check it.

Remember, queries are about the manuscript. If written well, a manuscript will always receive the attention it deserves.


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