Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps: Part 2

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps
Notes on Queries/Proposals/Submissions
Step 2

Dear Publisher I have an outstanding new book about frogs trees and perrywinckles that you’ll love please contact me with a release date. Thank for your tome you’re friend Aspiring.

Non-fiction and fiction published authors have one thing in common—good writing. An inspired idea is only a fantasy until the words are formed on the paper. But if those words are jumbled together in a mass of confusion, the writing does nothing for the inspired idea. The inspiration needs excellent writing skills to back it up.

This goes beyond punctuation, spelling, and verb tense. Writing, after all, is communication. If readers can’t figure out what you’re trying to say, your book has failed.

Already, non-fiction authors must have an expertise on their subject matter, but that should not exempt them from excellence in their writing skills. For fiction authors, that fact is even more obvious.

Authors who are serious about their careers are also in a constant search for ways to improve their writing. The desire to master the craft of writing doesn’t end with publication. A sincere author will continue to strive to become better and better.

My best advice: Join a critique group. Read writing journals. Listen to podcasts from experts. Don’t settle for doing the least (in any situation). Learn and grow and let your best work continue to get better. In fact, someone reading your first book and comparing it to you tenth should see marked improvement.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps: Part 1

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps
Notes on Queries/Proposals/Submissions
Step 1

Dear Children’s Picture book editor,
Will you publish my political thriller?

If you were to put a dozen editors in a room and have them discuss receiving and accepting proposals, more than likely the conversations would include one common complaint. The authors who submit to the publishing companies need to do their homework ahead of time.

Sounds like something from third grade.

When inboxes thicken to the hundreds, those authors who haven’t scanned the publisher’s website to at least learn about their accepted genres will often earn a silent pass. Even worse, they might find themselves trying to live down their hasty, uneducated action should they ever attempt to contact the editor again.

It’s actually a matter of respect (and a wise business decision) to inform yourself about a publishing company before you contact one. First, knowledge is power. Second, an editor is more likely to converse with you if you show that you’ve cared enough to learn about his or her company.

My best advice: First, read the submissions page on the company’s website. Make sure they publish your genre or you type of book. Then, read about the acquisitions editors from their blogs, Facebook posts, Pinterest, and conference articles. Submit to one editor at a company—that would mean sending your proposal to only one email address—the one who already prefers your genre. 

Making that wise choice will move your manuscript along the road to publication much quicker.