Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Did you do your homework?

Though it is FINALLY spring LOL, kids are still in school, and I have to make note that this is a good reminder to authors in general...especially newer authors...

Don't forget to do your homework!  This is a good life lesson, and especially in the publishing industry.   Study your craft constantly.  Learning never stops (even for editors :) )

But most importantly, do your homework BEFORE you submit.  Most publishing houses have their submission guidelines on their websites.  FIND THEM, STUDY THEM, ABIDE BY THEM.  In reality, this is your first test as an author.  Can you follow simple guidelines?  Can you do what is asked of you in the general form? 

You may be quirking your brow and saying "What? A test?  Seriously?"

Yes.  Maybe not a serious, sit down, use a #2 pencil type one, and maybe not in the terms any publishing house would use, but there are editors on the other end of that submission email who quirk a brow at someone who sent multiple attachments when it was specifically asked that no attachments be sent with a query, or when you use a really weird and fancy font when a simple Times New Roman 12 was asked for.  Maybe you aren't physically graded, but not adhering to simple guidelines can start you off on the wrong foot with someone that you really want to impress.  They need to know you can follow simple direction so that when it's time for the more indepth directions of edits on your manuscript, they know up front that you are someone they can work with. 

So show them that you are someone they want to work with; show them you are someone they CAN work with; show them you are serious and took the time to research their site, and they will know you are someone who is willing to learn and willing to work for their craft. 

And I'll let you in on a secret, those are the answers to that first test....Submission Etiquette 101.  Do your homework and you'll ace it every time!

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