Sunday, September 27, 2009
Kaylan Adair: How to Get an Editor to Notice You (for all the right reasons)!
Guide to Etiquette Publishing: How to Get an Editor to Notice You for All the Right Reasons
How to behave at a conference: come talk to us! Saying hello does not make you a crazy stalker.
What sort of things is it appropriate to talk about? Ask about our tastes! Ask about our publishing house or agency and general questions about the publishing process. Mention that you’ve been submitted if you have, but don’t expect us to remember you.
DON’T Pitch your manuscript in a one-on-one casual meeting.
Don’t give an editor a manuscript to take back with them.
Don’t ask what publishers pay for advances.
Don’t ask what we really think of Harry Potter or Twilight, etc.
Cover letter: one page business letter that introduces you/includes short summary of work and genre
Query letter: letter you send asking permission to send manuscript
Summary: depends on publishing; check specific guidelines
Notification postcard: sent with the manuscript and we’re meant to send them back so you know it arrived safe and sound.
Submissions: what NOT to do
Don’t print on special paper. That means no colors or perfumes, peeps.
Don’t include anything extra with your submission. No photos of your dog, pictures, glitter, or food.
Don’t use the envelopes that are filled with newspaper.
Don’t include a detailed marketing/merchandising plan.
Don’t compare your book to mega bestsellers!
Don’t submit to us twice. We’ll tell you if we want to see more.
Don’t waste money on special shipping
Don’t worry about copyrighting. We aren’t going to steal your idea. Really.
Don’t get your lawyer brother-in-law to submit your book. Trust us—we know.
Don’t submit to multiple editors at the same house/multiple agents at the same agency
Don’t use a weird font. It makes it hard for us to read.
Double space your manuscript. Number your pages.
Personalize your cover letter, even if you haven’t met the editor/agent.
If you did meet us at a conference or in some other fashion, mention this right away.
Include a self-addressed stamp envelope even if you don’t want it back.
Use a professional tone.
Follow the submission guidelines!
Don’t include illustrations if you aren’t a professional illustrator.
Don’t write in rhyme unless you think of yourself as the poet. Forced rhyme is the worst!
Know the market!
Don’t submit to someone who doesn’t rep your genre.
Don’t pitch an entire series! Publishers won’t want to commit to five books at once right now.
Know your character through and through. TEENS ARE THE MOST DISCRIMINATING READERS.
Make sure you’re reading what is current.
The waiting game:
DON’T call us to follow up.
Wait three months before sending a polite status query.
Continue to submit your manuscript to others!
Start work on another project.