Monday, 20 October 2008

How not to - #2

Continuing with our 'How not to' guest blogs, bestselling author and former literary agent Orna Ross explains what NOT to say to an Agent or Editor:

“Please read the attached and give me feedback.”

Writers want feedback. It’s understandable but think about it: if an agency or editor were to read and feedback to everybody who wanted it, they wouldn’t have time to represent that writing to publishers or sales teams. Or to eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom … By asking for feedback, you show that you have no understanding of, or empathy for, the realities of the business you want to enter. The realities of the pressures besetting those with whom you seek to work.

If you really need feedback, the best option is to pay for a manuscript critique from a professional. If you’re not willing or able to make that financial commitment to your writing, you will have to resort to a friend or family member whom you can trust to tell you the truth and give you objective, constructive advice.

Approach a publisher or agent only when you have something to offer. Something you know to be truly great, truly publishable material.