Well, I’m on a roll right now, and Law and Order is on the boring side, so I have time for one more cliche post tonight. Here you go–I think I’ll actually post a couple.
Continued from Part 1
Put your best foot forward
Sending out a submission that isn’t as perfect as you can make it is like showing up for a date to the opera in torn jeans, smelling like you finished mucking stables. Clean up for your night on the town. Make sure your submissio
n is as perfect as you can make it before sending it on. If you’re not the best at catching grammatical and spelling errors (and even if you think you are! it’s easy to miss them when you’ve read the cover letter or manuscript over and over), have a friend you can trust with things grammatical look it over for you and point out any errors.
Join a writing group or get a couple trusted alpha readers to help you make sure you’ve ironed out any problems with plot, characterization, mood, etc. before you start submitting.
You’re here finding out what I look for, which is perfect. Keep coming to events like this, and when you meet an editor who you feel would be right for your book, make sure your book is ready before sending it on. For people local to Utah, there are several other conferences you should be aware of:
SCBWI conference in March at UVSC every year
Writing for Young Readers at BYU every summer
(For readers not in Utah, look up your local events at http://www.scbwi.org or at your local college–often there will be similar events that will be extremely helpful.)
I personally am looking for great fantasy adventure stories told in e
vocative writing by authors who know the difference between middle grade and YA, etc.
Make sure you first focus on your craft, perfecting both your storytelling and your wordcrafting, before you start submitting.
You have to kiss a lot of frogs to meet your prince
Don’t give up after your first reje
ction. Or your second or your third or your twenty-fifth. How many stories are out there of authors who made the rounds of publishers, whose book was finally published by that 26th or 50th publisher? Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time was rejected by 20-something publishers. Dr. Seuss, too. Keep going and don’t let yourself get discouraged. It’s about finding the right fit.