Rule One: Read the publisher’s list of requirements.
Rule Two: Read the publisher’s list of requirements.
If the publisher says they are not considering Chic Lit or Science Fiction then it is no good sending them your latest masterpiece ‘Bridget Jones on Mars’
If the publisher says three chapters and a synopsis don’t send ten chapters and your mum’s comments that ‘It’s wonderful, darling. I’m sure it will do very well.’
Publishers do not like surprises. Filling the envelope with confetti when submitting your romance novel is not going to make you any friends in the slush pile office!
Rule Three: Read the publisher’s list of requirements.
Do not address your email ‘To whom it may concern’. Use your initiative and find out the name of the commissioning editor.
Ensure your synopsis uses correct spelling and grammar.
Do not use coloured paper or fancy fonts. They just annoy.
If the publisher says “Email submissions only” do not send them your handwritten manuscript in the post. It will probably just end up being exploded by the Bomb Squad as a suspicious package.
Make sure you include your name and address!
Try not to annoy your potential publisher by sending a flow of chaser emails. Doing so is certainly going to ensure a quick response but not necessarily the one you want.
Choose your subject well and write about what you know. Fantasy is selling well at the moment but if you never read the genre don’t try to write the next Camelot Saga, it will show. And nobody is interested in your autobiography unless you are already famous. It doesn’t matter how hilarious your mates thought your Gap Year adventures in Ibiza were, no publisher is going to be interested.
If you are requested to send a manuscript to a publisher do make sure the spelling and grammar is of a reasonable standard and that you haven’t filled your text with random unusual formatting. Make life as easy as you can for your publisher and they will be more inclined to look favourably on your work.
And just one last thing…
Read the publisher’s list of requirements!
Definitely not new advice but very true. Should we also read the publisher’s list of requirements? (couldn’t help myself – sorry)
Great advice! Sometimes the most obvious steps can be overlooked when a writer decides to send a query out to every publisher in the directory.