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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The First Time is Always Scary

A friend of mine recently asked me if there were any special requirements for submitting to an e-publisher. I gave her the same advice that someone was kind enough to give me.

Know who you’re dealing with. Don’t just check out their websites, check out any information you should know. How long have they been in business? What’s their background? Do you know authors who work with them? Are you familiar with the books they publish? After investigating all of this, do you think they’d be a good fit for your expectations?

And how do you investigate this? Check out the sites who rate the publishers such as Preditors and Editors. Some websites will tell you how long they’ve been in business and if they don’t, check them out on the internet. If you want to know about the books they publish, check out their free reads or buy a book or two to see how they are edited. If you like what you see, the next step is to check out their submission policy.

Your submission is their first impression of you as an author. Be professional and follow their guidelines. Check to make sure that your submission is properly formatted and saved to a file that they’ve requested. Word (doc.) and Rich Text Format (rtf.) are practically default but always check. Most guidelines will inform you of line spacing, acceptable fonts, the length of the submission and what contact information should be sent on the Title page. The guidelines may also suggest a specific way of naming your file. The most logical way to get your work in front of an editor in a timely manner is to make it as stress free as possible and follow the guidelines.

If you have been invited by an editor to send a full instead of a partial submission, mention this in your submission’s cover e-mail and send the required attachments.

You’ve followed the guidelines, the e-publisher has sent a response that your submission has been received and then, as with traditional publishing, you wait. The guidelines usually mention how long it should be before you receive a notification of an acceptance or rejection. Response times vary but when you do get a response, you still have some decisions to make.

If you’re rejected, it doesn’t mean that your story isn’t any good. It might mean that the publisher doesn’t think it would be a good fit for them at the time. If they’ve sent you suggestions on how to revise your story so that they might be interested and an invitation to resubmit, it’s a rejection that could ultimately turn into a sale.

If you’re manuscript is accepted, celebrate! And as a professional courtesy, whether you are accepted or rejected, respond to the email and thank the publisher for considering or accepting your book.

Someone else may have different advice to share and I invite any and all to contribute to the discussion today. Because somewhere there might be an author who may need the advice that someone was kind enough to give you. Pay it forward and share:)

Until next month,

Paris Brandon

Head Over Heels—Finalist in the Novella category of Passionate Ink’s, Passionate Plume contest.


Marie Rose Dufour said...

Thanks for the advice. It is hard to take that first step and send a manuscript to a publisher because it is scary!

Amber Skyze said...

Great advise, Paris. I believe in paying it forward to writer's new to the publishing world, because there were so many willing to help me when I was starting out.

Paris said...

You're very welcome. I remember taking that first step as if it was yesterday. It gets easier:)

Paris said...

Thanks! Paying it forward has been my philosophy for a long time. And I've been very lucky!

Linda Kage said...

Smart woman. Thanks for the tips!

Paris said...

You're welcome and thank you for stopping by:)

jean hart stewart said...

Wish I'd had this advice before I submitted. Seemed to have stumbled through except for one house I should have checked more carefully. Editors and Preditors now has a big red flag on them, so checking there is very important. Jean

Sandy said...

Paris, good information for all beginning writers. One other thing I would suggest is checking their distribution system.

You don't want a publisher who just sets your book on their website to sell. For instance, my publisher puts our books on their website, Amazon, B&N, All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords just to name a few.

Paris said...

Hi Jean,
Yes, I'm grateful for those sites also. Hope you were able to salvage your rights and sell the work elsewhere.

Paris said...

Good point about the distribution! I didn't think about that one but you're right. Thanks!

anny cook said...

Heh. Marie, you could always wait...and wait...and wait...
until someone dares you to send it in. And then have it accepted in a couple months with an offer of a contract. could send it off sooner.

I waited until the house hunk dared me... wish I'd sent it in sooner!

Paris said...


Chiming in, but just what is it about a dare from hubby that we can't resist, lol?

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