1. Do not send out your manuscript if it’s still at first-draft stage – there will always be room to improve after that, and you need to send out the best possible version of your work.
  2. Do not send out your manuscript if you know, in your gut (or your heart – whichever you prefer), that it isn’t ready, even if it’s had several drafts. You only have one chance to submit to agents and publishers – once you’ve been rejected, it is highly unlikely that the same manuscript will be looked at again. And, deep down, you know when it’s still not ready – you’re just trying to talk yourself out of it.
  3. Do not send your submission to someone who isn’t interested in the genre or category of book you’re writing. Children’s authors, you’re the big culprits here – many of you send submissions to agents and publishers who don’t represent or publish children’s books.
  4. Do not ignore the submission guidelines – they’re arbitrary, yes, but they’re our attempt to create order out of chaos.

–I’m a little bit guilty of number two. Only a little bit. It’s really hard to tell, okay! Jesus don’t judge me like that. /hides