Saturday, September 24, 2011

3L Publishing's Submission Guidelines -- Good Advice

I am surprised by general expectations of authors when they submit books for review. Here is what surprises me the most -- authors who expect that I have time read the entire book and provide a free evaluation. 3L Publishing's submission guidelines stipulate a sample chapter and a synopsis be provided. Why? Because we receive dozens of manuscripts. I don't have time read that many books in a lifetime. Some authors just don't understand that simple premise. I have authors falsely assume I will read the entire manuscript to make a decision as to whether or not I will work with them. First, (and I know this is shocking to some) I can pretty much tell by the end of chapter one (and sometimes the first page) whether or not the author has the fundamental skills required to write a book -- and any weaknesses they have 3L's team will correct. While this may surprise the rest of you, I can often tell by the first sentence if the manuscripts belongs in one of three piles -- the good, the bad or the ugly. I have seen it all. Manuscripts where the writers gives away the spoilers by page two; manuscripts so littered in errors I can't see past the mistakes; and manuscripts where the dialog is painfully stilted, cliché or trite. The best advice I can give any author who submits: don't make demands for me to read the whole thing. I don't have enough hours in the day to read every submission to the end. I wish I did, but I don't. So when you submit your precious manuscript, please don't make these demands. Also, you might also steer away from asking me for a free evaluation -- especially when you intend to shop it elsewhere. I'm just sayin'.

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