Thursday, January 31, 2013

Before Submitting To Anyone, Review The Submission Guidelines

As I write this, I have to say this feels like what I call a "no duh statement." Before you think about submitting anything to an editor, agent or other publication, please, please, please... take the time to really read through and understand the submission guidelines. A couple of days ago, I spent a block of time answering submissions that had come in recently. The majority of the letters written were rejections due to people not reading the submission guidelines.

So, what should you be looking for? This really isn't rocket science here.

Start with the genre the person is acquiring. For me, I am only looking at romance and women's fiction. To be even more specific, I do have posted on my website things I do want and don't want. Therefore, screenplays, short stories, translations, self-help books, and poetry is simply not going to work.

Now look at the guidelines and the characteristics of the projects. Again, as a reminder, at this time, I am only looking for projects that would fit the Harlequin lines. How do you know if the story is right? The answer is simple. Visit the Harlequin site and see the guidelines for the actual lines. This is found on their WRITING GUIDELINES tab found at the bottom of the page. What were some of the things I got this round? Crime novels and poetry for the Romance Line. Demon stories for the Intrigue line. Non-Fiction for the Historical line... I think you get the idea.

This is the basic information that you can find clearly printed and very accessible to all authors. I do understand that some of you are working with simply links to agents from other websites or books such as Writer's Marketplace, but these are mistakes that really don't have to happen.

Just take the time. I promise you that you will feel better without the massive amount of rejections for projects that simply never fit in the first place.


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