Dear Pub Subbers,
Happy New Year! It’s time to give yourself twelve gifts for 2011. You thought gifts were for Christmas. Gifts are for all year long. This is a gift of believing in yourself. Show that you believe in your writing by submitting your work to a publisher or agent at least once a month during 2011. I hope you’ll join us in Pub Sub 3rd Fri. Our goal commitment is to submit an article, poem, puzzle, devotion, illustration, short story, picture book, chapter book, middle grade novel, young adult novel, adult novel, play, song, or movie to a publisher on the third Friday of each month for a whole year. Of course, you can submit your work to more than one publisher a month. Yes, indeed, you can submit to more than one agent a month. This promise of a gift to yourself is only to get you started. I hope that once you get started, you’ll be submitting as a habit. I hope that your belief in yourself will grow and branch out to all aspects of your life and will indeed help you reach your goal of getting published. I know for sure that publishers do not come searching the drawers where your manuscripts are hidden in your home. You have to let them know about your writing treasures. Take action. Submit to publishers and/or agents.
Even though you are helping others, even though you are taking care of your young family of three, even though your responsibilities are great. You deserve and must have time to fill yourself with the fuel to do something for you. Fifteen minutes a day time for you. If your daughter or son wanted to do this, would you help them find the time to write and submit? Drop the excuses. It’s just as easy to say the words, “I have the time,” as it is to say, “I don’t have the time.” One empowers you and the other stops you in your tracks. So you don’t do it every month, but you do it more than you ever have in the past. Hurray for you! Celebrate! Even if it’s with a cup of coffee. Celebrate your submissions. Celebrate you…there’s only one of you.
Here are steps for each week to get you ready to submit your work to a publisher or agent: say, “I can do it.” Let me hear you shout, “Yes, yes. I can do it. I have the power to do it. I CAN DO IT.”
Besides a manuscript or article, below are the resources you need to accomplish your Pub Sub 3rd Fri goal:
Steps for Week One Smile, Giggle, Laugh .
1. Read this book or a similar one, or search online publisher/agent websites for current guidelines.
Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents 2011: Who They Are! What They Want! How to Win Them Over! by Jeff Herman
2 Choose three publishers/agents to submit a manuscript/query letter/illustration.
a. Read the guidelines of all three publishers/agents.
b. Select the publisher/agent to use this month.
c. Print out a copy of the publisher’s guidelines and save it in your submissions folder.
2. Fine tune your manuscript.
a. Use spell and grammar check with your manuscript.
b. Look for four errors in your manuscript. Read my blog for common errors you might miss unless you search for them: https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/look-for-four-writing-errors-when-you-revise/
c. If you’ve been to a writing conference, revise three places in your manuscript using a skill or technique taught that you think will improve it.
d. Here are thirteen books that may help you with your writing skills. They are listed in alphabetical order according to author’s first name. If you click on the title, it’ll take you to Amazon.com. Check out the book from your local library for free or buy it at a book store (local or online). I’ve read all of these books. They each contain excellent advice and tips for improving your story. Little by little the information and skills soak into your mind. Your skills and knowledge improve. You’ll be able to tell when you’re critiquing someone’s work or reading your favorite book. You’ll say to yourself, “AHA. That’s how to do it.” Your writing gets better. Your critiquing improves. You move one step closer to publication. Even published writers continue to learn more about the craft of writing by reading.
1. Darcy Pattison: Novel Metamorphosis
2. Donald Maass: The Fire in Fiction
3. Donald Maass: Writing the Breakout Novel
4. Donald Maass: Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook
5. James N. Frey How to Write a Damn Good Novel
6. James N. Frey How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II
7. James N. Frey How to Write a Damn Good Mystery
8. Karl Iglesias: Writing for Emotional Impact
9. Margaret Lucke: Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories
10. Noah Lukeman: The First Five Pages
11. Jordan E. Rosenfeld: Make a Scene
12. Katharine Sands: Making the Perfect Pitch
13. Remni Browne and Dave King: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
Week Two Steps for Pub Sub 3rd Fri Smile, Giggle, Laugh.
1. Let your manuscript sit a week in an incubator while you do your query or cover letter, resume, and proposal.
2. If the guidelines say to write a query letter, then write your query letter.
3. If you’re submitting a manuscript or article, write a cover letter to accompany it.
a. Include a strong pitch for your manuscript in your cover letter. A pitch is a 25 word eye-catching, heart-trapping summary of your book or article to hook the attention of the reader, agent, and/or editor. Refer to my blog for more information about writing your pitch: https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/how-to-entice-an-editoragent-with-a-pitch-logline.
b. In your cover letter, mention one book, article, or illustration similar to yours and how yours hooks readers and attracts them to it. Each time you write a cover letter, you will improve.
c. If you’re a member of SCBWI, mention that fact in your cover letter. SCBWI has a great reputation with publishers.
d. If this is an exclusive submission, write that in your cover letter. “This is an exclusive submission for three months. On (date 3 months from your submission) I am submitting it to other publishers.” For exclusive submission with an agent, you can limit the time to two months or six weeks. Their guidelines might give you an idea of how much time they usually take. I think giving them a time, keeps you from wondering and gives them reason to respect your choice.
4. Write your resume.
a. Include your snail mail address, phone number, email address, website, blog.
b. List all memberships in professional organizations.
c. Include all of your publishing credits.
5. If needed, write your proposal.
Steps for Week Three Smile, Giggle, Laugh:
1. Read out loud a printed out (hard copy) of your manuscript. Make all necessary changes.
2. Print out your manuscript again. Read it aloud, again. Then read it from the bottom to the top, and from right to left. This will help you notice more errors that your might not notice in other ways.
3. If you see errors, correct them.
4. Print out the GO FOR IT copy of manuscript, cover letter, resume, and/or proposal.
5. Put one copy of manuscript, cover letter, resume, and/or proposal in 9×12 envelope
6. Print out and save another copy of manuscript, cover letter, resume, and/or proposal in a folder called “Submitted Manuscripts.”
7. Make sure you put your snail mail address, phone number, email address, website, and blog on your cover letter, proposal, query, and/or manuscript. If it’s an email submission, follow the publisher/editor/agent guidelines about attachments. Many publishers do not accept attachments. Follow their guidelines.
8. Print out label for 9×12 inch envelope – use the mailing address in publisher’s guidelines. If it is an exclusive submission, mark it as such on the outside of the envelope.
9. Enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope, if the guidelines ask for one.
10. Put sufficient postage on the envelope.
11. Leave the envelope with all the items inside over night (24 hours is good).
Pub Sub 3rd Friday Laugh, Smile, Laugh
13. Check your manuscript, cover letter, proposal, and resume Friday morning.
14. Put addressed, stamped envelope with your PUB SUB in a mailbox or email. Say a prayer. Ask God to bless this submission. Say to yourself: I allow myself to receive a positive response, such as, “Yes, I’d like to publish this manuscript.”
Each time you submit, you will get better and better. In case you’re not ready on the third Friday of this month, go to my website and print out a rain check: http://www.joanyedwards.com/pubsub3rdfri.htm.
See my other Pub Sub 3rd Fri posts for more information: https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/category/writing/pub-sub-3rd-fri.
Thank you for reading my blog. Good luck in publishing your work. Let me know if Pub Sub 3rd Fri helps you get published. Please sign up for an email subscription from the “Sign me up” block from the top of the left hand column.
The 50th person to subscribe by email from the left will receive a free paperback copy of Flip Flap Floodle or a 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer.
January 11-18th There are three ways to have a chance to win a free copy of “Jeff Herman’s Guide to Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents:”
1. Visit my blog and leave a comment on my blog review of his book.
2. Visit my blog and leave a comment on my blog interview with Jeff Herman
3. Visit my blog and sign up for an email subscription to my blog.
Smile, Giggle, Laugh
Happy New Year!
Joan Y. Edwards
Only $10.00 Flip Flap Floodle, Delightful Duck Who Never Gives Up on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Flip-Flap-Floodle-Joan-Edwards/dp/1594572852/
Pub Sub 3rd Fri webpage http://www.joanyedwards.com/pubsub3rdfri.htm
Pub Sub 3rd Fri blog pages https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/category/writing/pub-sub-3rd-fri/
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