Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Something for Authors to Think About

I have been working on book reviews and manuscript acquisitions as of late, and have noticed something in both.

When an author submits a manuscript for publication, the question is, has the manuscript been edited by a professional editor, of at least read by a person other than the author? A second pair of eyes is necessary when writing. It is too easy for the author to miss small items like typos and more because they are too close to the copy.

As an acquisitions editor it is hard to read and review a manuscript that contains glaring errors in basic grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Writing is a business and authors need to treat their writing as something special, which writing is; make these same errors in your query letter, and your manuscript might earn a rejection letter if you are lucky enough to receive a response.

In today’s publishing environment, authors should not trust the publisher would edit the manuscript for them, especially when using self-publishing houses. With the way publishers are running the houses, it is up to the author to wear multiple hats. Authors of today need to be editor, marketer, and promoter. Many agents and publishers will expect a marketing plan along with the manuscript, it is the author’s job to sell the book and find places to market the book and set up displays in bookstores and other places. A website for the book and a following is also necessary for promotion.

As an acquisitions editor, authors, please do your work to the best of your ability and edit your manuscript before submitting it to any publisher.

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