Nothing Like Killing Your Publishing Chances

A friend of mine is an acquisitions editor for a small publisher. She just rejected a manuscript that not only had grammatical and punctuation errors, but the author declared that he/she knew little about the computer, nothing about the Internet and did not intend to do any kind of promotion because that was the publisher's job. Not the exact words of course, but that is the meaning of what he/she had to say.

If that is the attitude this person displays to every publisher he/she submits to he/she might as well forget it, tuck the manuscript back in the drawer and take on a new hobby.

A computer is a writer's best tool. If you were a writer back in the 70s, things were far different. A writer's tools consisted of a manual typewriter, typing paper, carbon paper, an SASE (business size envelope with postage and your address) in hope that instead of a rejection letter you'd get an acceptance, a manuscript box with your address and return postage in the event the manuscript was rejected and you wanted it back, and a larger box to mail the whole thing off in the first place. Writers Digest Market so you could find the publishing houses looking for your kind of book along with their guidelines. You needed to buy a new one every years as things changed as quickly as the book came out.

Most of what I just wrote has been eliminated because you can find it all on the Internet, submit your manuscript as an attachment to email, and find out exactly what each publisher wants.

And now to the critical issues, many if not all publishers today ask for a marketing plan along with the submission. This means they want to know how you plan to sell your book if they publish it. They want to know if you have a webpage, blog, use Facebook, Twitter or other social networks as well as what you might do in-person. The publisher is going to put notice of you book on its own website, maybe even have a place a reader can purchase there, it will be on Amazon and other major bookstore sites, including whether or not it is also available as an e-book. The publisher may also send it out a few places to review--but will also want to know if you plan to get reviews and where.

Telling a publisher you aren't willing to market at all is like saying,"I don't really want you to publish my book."

Hard to believe in this Internet day and age.



C. N. Nevets said…
Great advice, Marilyn. It breaks my heart when I see writers with talent throw away their chances through simple lack of preparation and understanding of the industry.
Morgan Mandel said…
It's hard enough to get ahead when you follow all the rules. That person hasn't a chance!

Morgan Mandel
wow ... can't believe an "author" in this day and age would be so oblivious to the industry he is struggling to get into.

Great advice Marilyn.
Yep, it is pretty unbelievable, Nevets, Morgan and Katrina. Thanks for commenting.

Another bad thing for authors to do is bad mouth their publishers. I know that happens too. Dumb.

Cheryl said…
Wow! I can't believe anyone would shoot herself in the foot like that. I've been following a great series by Wendy Lawton on the Books & Such Blog. In her article on how to attract an agent, she posed these questions at the end:

"Why do you think it’s so important to know the industry and be invested in it? After all, you are seeking an agent. Can’t your agent handle all the industry/ business stuff so you can go off somewhere and write? What happened to the age-old hermit/ writer?"

She received some great comments.

It's important to learn all you can about the industry to help ensure your success.

Thanks for the great reminder, Marilyn.

T C Mckee said…
Wow, I almost feel sorry for this person. It's clear that he or she hasn't done their research. Amazing.

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