Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

My Books, writing tips and reviews

A Lesson in Manuscript Submitting


This past week has been a very interesting week. The lesson learned was this. There is a right way and a wrong way to submit a manuscript for publishing. No, it was not mine. It was a novice writer who listened to all the wrong people.
The end result was the manuscript was not sent in a word document ready to be edited and published. It was sent in piece meals files by chapter. To add to the problem it was not properly formatted with paragraph indentations or a centered chapter heading with the Caps where they belong.

Before the editing process could even be started the chapters had to be cut and pasted into a word document. To further complicate the process there were many, many footnotes which would not copy and paste to the document. Now, this presented a huge undertaking because each footnote had to be copied by itself then the passage had to be located and then the footnote inserted. This had to be done before the manuscript could even be edited. Adding to the challenge the chapters had been written all in double space each word was double spaced, each sentence was double spaced and there was no distinction of paragraphs. Everything including the chapters were aligned to the left and the chapter headings were all in small letters.

This is a casebook example of what not to submit for publishing. What should have been a four hour job tops turned into a two week job. To add to this insane mix the writer decided to rewrite the entire book and resubmit it in the same form after work had already begun on the book. The table of contents was also all in small letters. The font was in several different types and none of them were the standard of New Times Roman 12.

For those of you who are writing your first book or are thinking about writing a book this is absolutely not the way to do it. It doesn’t matter if you are self publishing as in Lulu or Create a Space, using a POD or Vanity press or even have the opportunity to be picked up by the Traditional publishing house there are procedures and protocols in submitting a manuscript. You never ever send it in chapter files. It must be a completed manuscript. Most if not all POD or Vanity presses will not edit your work, it will get kicked back. It also shows a lack of professionalism on your part by not adhering to the protocols. It looks amateurish and childish.

Even kids in school know how to write a presentable paper.
There is an old adage which goes, “Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Sadly this is what happened here. The writer was given some very bad advice and then tried to spout it as fact. Sadly it was wrong. And sadly the writer didn’t want to learn the correct protocol to make it right.

So the lesson learned here is there are standards in the industry and those standards are set in stone and do not change. Publishing houses do not care if you don’t want to play by their rules they will tell you take it someplace else because there are 10,000 books published every day of the week. There are twice that many writers wanting their book in print.
Play by the rules, listen to those of us who have succeeded with blood, sweat, tears and rejections and learning curves. We have traveled those dark, lonely roads, and come out on the other side, bruised, but not beaten. We have made our way in the maze of the publishing world. We are in print and we know how to get it done.

So listen to us. We have the scars to prove it!

March 28, 2012 - Posted by | writing workshops | , , ,

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