Submission Do's and Dont's

  • Do your homework. Know who you are submitting your work to. Request guidelines, sample copies, and/or catalogs.

  • Don't send a short story to a magazine that accepts only nonfiction. Don't send a romance novel to an agent who handles everything but romance novels.

  • Do send an SASE with all submissions.

  • Don't call in a few days to ask the agent if he or she received your manuscript.

  • Do submit neatly typed, error-free letters and manuscripts.

  • Don't assume an agent or editor will make allowances for your grammar problems or broken printer. They won't.

  • Do learn the jargon. For example, know the difference between a multiple submission and a simultaneous submission; know what LMP or PW stand for. (Literary Market Place and Publisher's Weekly.)

  • Don't make costly mistakes, such as calling your work a fictional novel. (All novels are fiction--the redundancy shows your amateur status.)

  • Do send your work to reputable publishing houses and literary agencies. Know the scams and what to avoid.

  • Don't pay reading fees or jump to bite if a contract comes asking you for money.

  • Don't plaster the copyright symbol all over your manuscript. Your work is already automatically copyrighted. Agents and editors know that; your copyright sign will show your lack of trust and will again notify them of your amateur status.

  • Do show from your correspondence or phone conversations that you are an agreeable, flexible person. Agents take personality into account when deciding whom to represent. An agent/client relationship can last a long time. No one wants to work with someone who is unpleasant.

  • Don't burn any bridges. No matter how frustrated or angry you are, it will not do you any good to vent. You don't want to brand yourself as ``difficult."

Fiction Writer's Connection
PO Box 72300
Albuquerque, NM  87195
Phone:(505) 352-9490

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