Submission Guidelines

Alright. Every editor thinks it, but not many will say it. So, as is my custom, I will be the voice of the unheard complaints of the editing race.

Submission guidelines.

Why do authors insist on not following them? It’s not that difficult. Our website – as well as nearly every other reputable press or publishing house out there – has detailed and step by step instructions on how a prospective writer should submit a manuscript for consideration. Did you catch that? In detail. From the number of chapters to formatting requirements, proposal package contents to cover letters. The editor or webmaster who typed up these instructions and posted them online did so in a fashion that even the most illiterate individual would be able to understand. And considering most of the people that submit to publishing houses consider themselves writers, that’s pretty pathetic.

Yet, after not following requested procedures and following simple guidelines, authors complain about why the never received an answer, or feel that the editor “didn’t even read the manuscript.” Well, maybe if you had used a serif font instead of some downloaded cursive, printed your manuscript on one side of the page instead of on your kid’s recycled homework, or make sure you don’t send along a virus with your attached submission (in the wrong format, of course) the editor would have given your book a second glance.

Of course, that is saying that the writing deserved a second chance – but of course that is a different discussion altogether.

The point I’m trying to make here – if there really is a point and not just some mindless rambling – is to make a good impression by following the rules. Editors get enough submissions and queries a day to not have to sift through your hand-made paper sheet protectors, or bloody their fingertips by attempting to remove the eighty-six staples binding the pages together. All that does is piss him/her off.

Don’t do it.

Please, please, follow directions when submitting a manuscript. It will make it easier on your editor and show that you are professional, and that you want to work on a professional level with your editor to succesfully refine, publish and market your book to the world. Trust me, it’s in your best interest.

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