AUTHORS! Why do you write?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Edit and Organize BEFORE Submitting Your Manuscript

I have written about this in a variety of ways, but think it is worthwhile to mention again--especially since I received several emails over the past two weeks seeking my assistance in this regard.

It is very difficult to get published in the traditional fashion these days, and it is not getting any easier. Did you know that the vast majority of manuscripts are turned down without being read or if they are examined, they receive  no more than a casual 60-second glance before being tossed aside?

Why?

Because a high percentage of manuscripts are not properly organized and edited BEFORE they land in the hands of agents or acquisition editors who are desperately looking for quality work.

If you have a manuscript on a topic agents and publishers are seeking, you're halfway home. It is at that point when authors make the mistake of submitting what they believe is a solid manuscript for review. Guess what? Acquisition editors and agents see "solid" manuscripts day in and day out. (I sure do and we are a small independent company.)

Agents and editors are not seeking "solid" manuscripts. They are looking for manuscripts that GRAB them and demand that they keep reading. I would guess 95% of the manuscripts floating around out there don't grab anyone.

As a result, decent manuscripts are often--to an editor's eye--poorly organized and/or have too many grammatical issues to encourage someone with little time to continue reading them. They are not crafted to immediately catch someone's attention, first with a cover letter, and then with the main body of work submitted. Make that mistake once, and forget landing a publishing contract with that company.

I routinely consult and provide editing services for authors, agents, publishers, ghost writers, etc. worldwide. Many "good" manuscripts are sent to us for "help," but often only after they have been seen and rejected over and over again. Why burn bridges and then seek help?

Seek help before you submit your work, polish it up, and increase your odds of at least being read. You can't get published unless someone is willing to read your work.

Click here if you need to email me.

--tps

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Been in the biz long enough to have gotten four submissions with the TITLE misspelled.

Not that long, actualy.

TMW Man

Anonymous said...

I had my manuscript polished by a good writer. It cost quite a bit, but it did help me land a publishing deal after several rejections. Did not make back my expenses (yet) but I didn't write a book to get rich so that did not matter to me.

Mark

adkins said...

Isn't rejection part of the process? I'm trying to publish my my second book and have been rejected twice (or is three or four times - I forget). Never give up the ship...

Anonymous said...

"Writing is like hitchhiking: if you're not prepared for constant, impersonal rejection, you're never going to get anywhere."

TMW Man