My dream to become an acquisitions editor was born from an internship at “The Writer’s Coffee Shop,” an online publisher. I interned for the acquisitions editor and her team. Under their tutelage, I learned much about the query process and I realized that many authors are unaware of how to query. If you are an author and you are interested in traditional publishing, then here are two questions that you must ask yourself before submitting to any publishing house:
- Did you edit your manuscript?
Editing your manuscript is crucial. It could be the difference in receiving a publishing deal or a rejection letter. A publishing house is not going to take on a manuscript that needs massive editing work. Yes, editing is going to be required for most manuscripts, but if yours needs a complete editing overhaul then it’s not going to be accepted, regardless of potential.
- Did you read the submission guidelines?
Reading the submission guidelines will save you a lot of trouble and heartache. Most publishing houses explain in detail what they are looking for. Some even define the word count. Many major publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts so you may need a literary agent if you’re interested in big name publishing houses. Don’t submit to a publisher whose main focus is erotica when your novel is young adult fiction. Instant rejection, guaranteed.
Asking these questions before you submit your query letter will lessen your chance of rejection or you may get a rejection letter with great commentary on how to revise and resubmit (This is good. It means they are interested in your manuscript). Acquisitions editors see manuscripts all day, every day from authors who didn’t ask these two simple questions. Go ahead and ask yourself and if the answer is “no” then you are not ready for the query process.