Sunday, November 13, 2011

Read the instructions!

Every year students do poorly in exams because although they wrote an excellent essay, they did not answer the question. Authors often fall into the same trap.
Once you have chosen the publisher you plan to submit your book to, read their submission guidelines. Keep reading them until you are sure you understand them. Then do as they say.
Double spacing or one point five? Header and footer? Margins? Insert page break for a new chapter? Chapter heading in words not numerals?
If the publisher sees you cannot follow submission guidelines they will be inclined to think you won’t follow editing instructions either. And reject your book.
If they ask for formatting you cannot understand get a technologically savvy friend to help you. Don’t just assume it won’t matter. It will matter.
Writing is a very tough, competitive world. Give yourself an edge toward success by having Helen edit your book and advise you on how to submit it. Rates on application.
Helen Woodall Freelance Editor.


Amarinda Jones said...

Yes, agreed but a good story will always sell.

anny cook said...

I once took a creative writing course in college. Over half the class failed the course for one simple reason. They didn't follow the simple (written!) directions.

The instructor was always explicit about what he required. Always. Following those directions completely was 50% of the grade on every assignment.

His philosophy was no matter how splendidly creative you might be with your writing, publishing is a business.

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

Writing is a business and it's a tough one. The only way to survive in it is to be professional at all times.
Yes, Amarinda a smart publisher will accept an excellent story because they know it will sell even if it is a bit messy. But for the 90% of "good" stories, presenting a spotless manuscript is their best chance of success.