Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Getting published: Top tips

At BubbleCow we have the honour of helping lots of writers to take one step closer to achieving their dream and become published. After a conversation with Caroline this week I realised that we were both seeing writers making the same mistakes when preparing their manuscripts for publishers and agents to read.

So here are my top tips:

Be consistent: If you have used a particular font, colour and size for your first chapter header or character voice or whatever, make sure it’s the same throughout the whole document. Trust me on this one, it’s a lot easier for the writer to fix this as they write then it is for an editor to try and mend the damage at a later stage. This might help.

Get the spelling right: Most publishers aren’t looking for the next Shakespeare. Instead they are looking for well written work, which they believe they can sell for a profit. Publishers are looking for a reason to not publish your proposal and a manuscript littered with spelling mistakes is a short cut to rejection.

Publishers don’t want your book: You need to give a publisher a very good reason to publish your book. Never forget that they have hundreds of books they could publish, all from established and respected writers. So in reality they don’t need you. However, if you are to break down the door your proposal must tick all the correct boxes. Your manuscript must be the best it possibly can. Your proposal must be concise and to the point. Your cover letter must be brief and contain all the relevant information a publisher needs. If you try to short cut this approach you will be rejected.

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