- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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