Welcome to WWW where every week a guest will offer some insight into the world of writing and publishing.
Today I'm thrilled to have my Weekend Writers Sister, Darlene Fredette, published author and editor, share a smidge on publishing.
*These words were originally posted on Weekend Writers blog on April 4, 2013.
Think Twice Before You Hit Send
So, you’ve completed your story and you’re anxious to submit your manuscript to publishing houses. Is it as simple as a quick note introducing your story, attaching your manuscript, and hitting send?
The answer is, NO.
Did you check the publisher’s submissions guidelines? Is your manuscript their requested font style and size? Do your margins and spacing meet their requirements? Does your query letter include the pertinent information?
As an editor, I see many query submissions and I’m very surprised as to how many queries do not follow submission guidelines. Eighty percent of submissions do NOT include all the details requested, and when we open the manuscript and see it full of typos, we wonder if the author even took the time to proofread their story.
Let’s rewind the clock here for a moment.
We need to get through the opening email query first. When important details such as genre type, word count, heat level, previous writing experience, and address...(which were all clearly stated in the submissions guidelines)...are missing, we’re already forming an opinion of the author’s attention to detail even before opening the manuscript attachment. And if the guidelines state attaching your chapters, then why do so many queries include them in the body of the email?
One of the most important elements we expect to see in a query introduction is professionalism. When we read an email that has, ‘Hi, my manuscript is 54K, below is a synopsis, looking forward to hearing from you’, our expectations are lowered immediately.
Want to make an initial good impression on the submissions department? Think twice before you hit ‘SEND’. Make your query email shine. Start with making a check list of the publisher’s guidelines. Be sure to include all the information they’ve requested. Add a synopsis and your chapters, or attach them if that’s how the publishing house expects to receive them. Go through your manuscript one final time. Check for typos, set your margins, spacing, font style and size to their guidelines. And most important, be professional. These are the main elements that can push your submission to the top of the pile or the bottom.
About Darlene Fredette
An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to put a pencil to paper and plot out stories of her own. Following a career path in administration, she excelled in the art of editing and design. Thanks to the support of her family, Darlene has been able to fulfill her dream to write full time, publish an electronic magazine, run a freelance editorial service, and be part of a reputable publishing house’s editorial team. When Darlene isn’t editing, writing, or reading she enjoys spending time with her family.
Books by Darlene Fredette
Samantha Witherspoon is a strong, independent, businesswoman, determined to prove her worth as the heir to her late-grandmother’s chain of cafés. When she clashes with Matt Sullivan, the stubborn contractor who refuses her renovation project, Samantha returns to her childhood home to convince him. Sparks fly, tempers flare, and Samantha quickly realizes that befriending the rugged contractor isn’t as easy as she’d hoped.
Re-release of Chocolate Kisses
When Jackson Frost returns to Redford Falls, Candi Cane knows he's not only after her chocolate kisses. Their last encounter had Candi acting on desire and revenge. But Jackson has now discovered her secret. Is it her desperation for a Santa that has her pausing to sign her name on the dotted line or something closer to her heart?