Submitting

Proposal to Publication – Part 4 of 5

Pre-Production → Once the major editing is completed, your manuscript normally goes to copyedit. A copyeditor will take a detailed look at your manuscript, correcting grammar, typos, and punctuation. She/he will also flag anything that seems unclear; checking footnotes for accuracy and format; making sure all necessary elements are in place; and making sure all…
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Proposal to Publication – Part 3 of 5

The Writing & Editing Stage * Now that the contract is finished, you should have some interaction with an editor who will outline your writing/editing schedule and expectations. * You also should receive some kind of “welcome packet” from the publisher, a written set of author-instructions telling you about style requirements, permissions, and other aspects…
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Proposal to Publication – Part 2 of 5

The Contract Stage4 So, you’ve heard that your book has been accepted for publication. Yipee! 4 Your biggest question will probably be: How much MONEY do I get? You’ll be offered an advance which might be lower than your lifelong dream, but more than you have in your checking account right now (if you’re lucky).…
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Proposal to Publication – Part 1 of 5

This week I’m going to take you on a journey through the publishing process “From Proposal to Publication.” I’ll give brief explanations of what’s happening at the publishing house during each of the stages, and what’s expected of the author. Please note this a generic overview… the process can vary substantially from house to house.…
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Have You Written More Than One Book?

Katie asked: I have written three books that I’m hoping to finish revising this summer, all in the same genre. When I’m ready to start submitting, how do I decide which one to submit? And let’s say I submit a book to an agent, they say no. Can I query the same agent with a…
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Query via Email or Wait for Conference?

Jill asked: Say I’ve been doing the research, investing an agent’s website and following the blog for a while and I’ve decided I want to query that agent. Would it be better to do a cold query (following all the submission guidelines, of course) or wait for the possibility of an appointment at a conference,…
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A Funny Thing Happened…

On the Way to my Query Box Last week, as you know, I was away at a conference. I was responding to email the best I could on my Blackberry. I have my email structured so that queries won’t appear in the regular inbox; instead, they get filtered into the query box. They receive auto-replies…
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Anatomy of a Winning Query

Have you noticed that agents tend to talk a lot about what not to do in a query, but less about what makes a great one? It think it’s because the good ones are each unique; it’s hard to come up with a formula that makes a terrific query. But the unexciting or badly composed…
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QueryDay… and a Q4U

Okay, now that we’ve all had sufficient time to totally deconstruct QueryFail and AgentFail (and hopefully recover), I wanted to let you know that today is QueryDay on Twitter… and yes, I’m participating. Why, oh why, would I do such a thing? Well, here’s why. In the interest of grace, and second chances, and the…
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Following Submission Guidelines

(Oops, technical difficulties, my blog didn’t post properly at the scheduled time. Sorry!) If you’ve been reading agent blogs and you follow them on Twitter, you probably know by now that most agents want you to follow their posted submission guidelines when submitting. A significant proportion of rejections happen because the query doesn’t follow the…
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Manuscript Submission Services

I always get questions about manuscript submission services like Authorlink or Writer’s Edge or Christian Manuscript Submissions. (Also known as manuscript display websites.) These are services that show your writing to agents and editors through a website and/or monthly report that displays your logline, synopsis, and a sample of your manuscript. Most of these services…
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Quick Update on Query Submissions

Many of you have written that you’re not getting an immediate automated response to your query. I just found out why. The responses are generated through Outlook, and they’re only sent when Cathy, our office assistant, has Outlook running. Since she’s part-time, this isn’t a whole lot of hours each week. So if you send…
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Your Queries Say a Lot About You

Over the last year, I’ve given you numerous examples of things not to say in a query letter. One of the most unhelpful things you can say in your query is something like, “my book will win the Nobel prize” or “it’s bound to be a blockbuster bestseller.” Or even the more restrained, “This book…
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Change of Heart

Last week, you may have noticed some interesting happenings over on Twitter. Several agents participated in “queryfail” day. They posted “turnoff” lines from query letters, in hopes of helping to educate writers about what we don’t want to see in a query. At first, I wasn’t going to participate, concerned that people might think we’re…
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