BY Chris Hamby
1) Flesh Out The Idea Fully
As a Publisher, it is difficult to work through a manuscript if there are several details that aren’t completely fleshed out. As an Author, I understand how we can get side tracked and will simply say, “I’ll come back to this later,” and we never get back to it. If an idea is not completely fleshed out, filled with several holes and other troublesome devices, it becomes difficult for a Publisher to trust the work. Everything has to connect; or else you are left with a plot hole that will leave your work feeling empty.
2) Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
Sometimes, we get ahead of ourselves and really want to push through to the end. While that works out sometimes in life, it really does your work a great injustice. Before you begin your work, make sure you sit down and plan out how you want the story to go, but remember, this plan will change from time to time and you must be open to simple deviation. Ideas can come from anywhere, but you must make sure that you have outlined your plan and you are prepared to work it, filling in all the details and making a great work. This will go a long way in the publishing process, as your hard work will show with a nice, complete manuscript.
3) There Is NO EXCUSE for Grammar and Spelling Mistakes
Consider a publisher opening your work for the first time the same as a first impression. One of the things that drives me insane is a simple lack of editing. I understand that there will be a couple of mistakes that were overlooked. That happens. But if I open a project up in Word and it is filled with red and green squiggles, I tend to become immediately grumpy. There is no excuse for not editing your work before sending it to a publishing company. This work is your lifeblood. It should be treated with care.
4) A Consistent Format Goes a Long Way
Every work ever created is different, so every work’s format is different. However, every work should have one format, not several. There are a few ways to keep things simple. If you’re going to use tabs, use tabs all the way through. If you’re going to center your chapter titles, center them all the way through. Don’t change midway through and then forget to go back. You only lower the chances of your work being taken by a publisher if you make your reviewer’s job difficult.
5) Be Patient
This part should be self-explanatory. Publishers are very busy people with hundreds of works on their desks every day. It is near impossible for us to go through your work the same day we receive it. Badgering the publisher about your work is not the way to get it read faster; it makes us place the work at the bottom of the pile. An email checking in on your work isn’t a terrible idea though; just a constant barrage of emails is a bit much. Just be patient and know that we here at ScribbCrib are working hard for you.