About To Submit? Read This First!

By on June 23, 2017
About To Submit Read This First! - Writers Life.org

One thing that all writers know is that sending off your manuscript before it’s ready is an absolute no-no.

Of course, most of us are perfectionists and would never dream of submitting our manuscripts to publishers before they are in tip top condition.

However, after crafting your novel for months, or years, it's very easy to be far too familiar with your work, and miss crucial things that could make a big difference to how your book is received.

On the other hand, it’s hard not to be super eager. After all, our hearts and souls have gone into creating our books. We are desperate to get them out there to see if, just possibly, our dreams might come true.

However, good things come to those who wait, and making sure you have ticked all the editing and pre-submission boxes will ensure your book stands the best chance of success.

So why might your manuscript not be ready? Let’s take a look at some of the most common offenders.

Your manuscript is too long.

OK so there are no absolute rules when it comes to how long a book is, and if it really is that good, publishers should be falling over themselves regardless of its length. Right? Well, this is true to a certain extent. However, most publishers are on the lookout for books of around 80,000 to 110,000 words. Anything under and it’s not going to appeal to a mass audience, anything over and it might be considered too much of a risk. So if your word count is massively outside of this, you may wish to go back to the editing board and see where you can do some serious cutting.

No one else has read it.

You might be super precious and guarded about your work, but you need an outside perspective to truly get an idea of what’s working and what isn’t. It might be scary but constructive criticism can really help make your book better, and you might be surprised by how much people love it too. Try to find honest, impartial critics to read your book - if you pick people you know will tell you what you want to hear, then you aren’t doing your book or yourself justice.

You’ve only done one draft.

No manuscript in the history of manuscripts is ready after just one draft (feel free to prove me wrong). You might feel all giddy and elated when you finally finished the first draft of your story - but there is still so much more to do - so don’t you forget it!

You haven’t given it space.

The best way to begin the editing process is to leave your manuscript the hell alone for a few weeks! Without distance it can be impossible to see where the errors and flaws are, you simply can’t be as ruthless and impartial as you need to be. If you leave it for a while you’ll be so much better equipped to make strong (and correct) decisions that will improve your work no end.

Until you have done all of the above you simply shouldn’t send your manuscript off. So make sure you don’t do your book a disservice - you’re almost at the finish line so make sure you do it right!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

About Ty Cohen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *