A lot of writers don’t realise that their work doesn’t get rejected by top book publishing companies because it’s bad; it might actually be very good. But no matter how enthralling your plot or alluring your prose is, there’s one reason, and one very good reason why it might have been rejected: it just isn’t ready to be published. |
Proper editing is so important when submitting your manuscript to book publishers. Editors who work for publishing companies are very busy people. If the first page of your book has a very obvious and carelessly missed spelling mistake, they are likely to toss it in the ‘reject’ pile without a second thought the moment they see it. Yes, it might be a book that could change the world if it is published; but publishing companies just don’t have the time to care.
The following are three vital tips on how to properly prepare your manuscript for submission to book publishing companies.
1.Edit, edit, edit. Then edit some more.
There’s nothing book publishers detest more than work that is presented to them still in draft stages. Edit, polish, spruce up; fix your spelling and grammar mistakes, untangle your clunky sentences, sew up your plot-holes. Never say ‘that will do.’ You can’t decide when you’re done editing, but when you are genuinely finished, you’ll know.
2.Proofread it yourself. Don’t rely on spellcheck.
Editing is not the same as proofreading. Editing is when you fix your work up. Proofreading is nit-picking out all those little mistakes, and a book publisher will rarely accept a manuscript that has not thoroughly undergone this process. And – this cannot be stressed enough – do not run your writing through a quick spellcheck and decide that your work doesn’t need to be proofread because it gets the all-clear. Spell checks cannot account for everything, and frequently can, and do, get it wrong.
3.Get somebody else to proofread it. Tell them not to rely on spellcheck.
After completing step 1 and 2, get a trusted writer or editor friend to read through your manuscript before you send it off to a publishing company. Ask them to be thorough, blunt and honest. Once they’ve finished proofreading and given it back to you, read it again. Asking an outside party to read through your writing is always a good idea for a writer. When proofreading and editing your own work, you must do so with some level of bias, and you will miss things, no matter how good your intentions are. Believe it or not, a publishing company can tell if nobody but you has proofread your work.
Sometimes no matter how much you edit, your work still won’t quite be ready for publication. Put it back in the drawer; give yourself a break from it until you feel ready to tackle it again. Then polish it up, ready for re-submission. Don’t be disheartened; lots of books don’t get taken on by Related Articles -
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