Publishing Faux Pas

Save a Dolphin, Kill a Tree. We are in the day and age of the Internet and email …. Ooohhhh. And, I do not understand why people are still submitting book manuscripts in hard copy form (unless you are my grandma’s age and she does not own a computer nor understand what the Internet really is – I love you grandma). On top of the scores of dead trees I have received, it gets even better when they are marked up with little scribblely notes. Really? I am talking actual edits to a manuscript and even the renumbering of pages. Um – maybe that could have been done before you handed it over to someone to look at for a go or no-go publishing example. Not exactly putting our best foot forward, are we? Unless you want your manuscript used to prop up an uneven coffee table (and my tables are fine – so hello, recycle bin), submit electronically. Also, submit a table of contents and a chapter or two and throw in a synopsis for a fiction book. Last, do not give your potential publisher a ration of S*** when they tell you that they did not read chapter 10 of your submission, even though according to you that is when you said it starts to “get really good.” If it does not get good until chapter 10 … need I explain further??

My Grandma Liked It. You know what, your grandma, aunt, next door neighbor’s dog you are constantly feeding says it is good; there may be a slight chance that may not be the case. Most family members are not going to level with you and just tell you to go for it. My point is, if you do receive a rejection from your potential publisher just accept it. Do not pose the argument that you were a medical transcriptionist, and therefore, know how to write – and what’s wrong with you? Do not start ranting and raving, calling names, and sending nasty emails. Women especially tend to remember everything. And, when the ranting and raving is in Russian we are still probably laughing about it. Thank the person for taking time to look and move on because if your manuscript is good it is a likely fit for someone else. Also, a thank you will go a long way toward good relations, and your next submission is even more likely to be read whether it’s a fit or not because you were not acting like a moron.

She didn’t know what color to use, so she used them all! This very funny tagline actually goes back to a clothing disaster witnessed at the Minneapolis airport, but I will go there another time. If a publishing company is going to put their logo on your book, chances are they are either going to be control freaks over your cover to protect their brand (if they have one) or the much cooler ones (M Com Publishing -LOL) allow the author to have input and come up with a solution that both parties are just wild about. Chances are – when you email (or even worse) mail in drawings you want on your cover because your niece drew them with her crayons and you think they are super cool, they most likely are not going to fly unless you are entering them in the annual Easter Bunny drawing competition in the local paper or slapping them up on the Pancake House wall of fame. Be prepared to collaborate, have an open discussion, and not be married to your potential disaster. Here is the real deal: if someone is looking to buy a book … guess what they look at first?

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