Be Smart! Submit Your Manuscript


Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

“Be Smart! Submit Your Manuscript” by Joan Y. Edwards

Okay. I admit it. Last year I didn’t submit a manuscript every month. However, I did submit. What you and I do sometimes is focus on what we didn’t do. I want you to focus on being proud of your efforts, even if the Pub Subbers hopscotch has 12 spaces (one for each month) and you stepped out of the box in space 1. So what! Love yourself where you are. By loving yourself, you’ll keep moving forward. When you think in shoulds – I should have done this. I should have done that – you may become frozen to the spot and do nothing.

The point I’m trying to make is sometimes you don’t give yourself credit for all you’re doing. Sometimes you’re doing little things to help your writing career that are not clearly in the box called manuscript submissions. Sometimes you’re dealing with crisis situations in your life. Other times you may have different priorities for your time. Honor yourself and keep believing you’ll be published by a traditional publisher or whatever kind of publisher you want.

Know that you are a great writer and you will be published:
…even though you take detours
…even though you don’t submit a manuscript every month
…even though no one in your critique group understands your story

Remember what happens in real life, occurs in your mind first. Believe and imagine the good things you want to happen. You have to believe it. You have to imagine it.

It takes courage to share your work with a critique group. It takes guts to ask to present a workshop in person or online. It takes determination to raise your family and write, too. However, you can do it. I believe in you. God believes in you.

When your manuscript is the best that it can be right now, submit it.  This means that you’ve gone through at least 3-7 revisions. You’ve had your critique group read every chapter. They’ve given you positive feedback and places where the story is confusing or needs correction.

Let it sit in a special writers’ crock pot by itself for a couple of weeks. While it’s in there, your subconscious mind heats up new ideas on how to make it better. Or put it in the cellar for two weeks. Like great wine, when you read it later you’ll be amazed at the really great parts. You might say to yourself, “Did I write that? Wow! That’s pretty good.”

On the other hand, you may find parts where you say to yourself, “Oh my goodness. Did I write that? This is not good. I’m surprised I didn’t catch that error two weeks ago. My critique partners didn’t catch it, either.”

That’s when you’ll change it to a higher level of satisfaction with improved writing skill.

To help you decipher smart things for professional, soon to be published writers to do, I’ve devised an exercise. First, I listed 10 Smart things for writers to do. Then I’ve listed 10 Not So Smart things for writers to do. Can you rewrite the Not So Smart ones to Smart ones?

Smart things for writers to do.

  1. Read books that teach you how to improve a writing or marketing skill.
  2. Read books in your genre.
  3. Live. Travel. Study. Write about your experiences.
  4. Set the timer and write 10 minutes a day. Chances are you’ll get into it and write longer.
  5. Have a critique partner or group read your work and point out three Blue Ribbon Passages (the great parts), tell you where the meaning is not clear, and any errors in spelling, word usage, and punctuation.
  6. Visualize yourself autographing a copy of your book in a bookstore or writing conference.
  7. Study the current online submission guidelines for publishers and/or agents you believe are a good match for you and your manuscript.
  8. Study the query letters and cover letters of published authors.
  9. Study the body language of your family, friends, and strangers
  10. Submit the same story to publishers and agents who accept simultaneous submissions.

NOT SO SMART things for writers to do. Silly Sally did all the things listed below. Can you change these to Smart things for her to do so she can get published? Then she can be called “Smart Sally.”

  1. Submit your manuscript without having someone critique it.
  2. Submit your first draft.
  3. Submit your non-fiction book to a publisher of only hot fiction romance.
  4. Submit your manuscript without checking it for spelling errors that spell-check software won’t find.
  5. Submit your manuscript in April when the submission guidelines said to submit only during October and November.
  6. Submit your manuscript to all five agents at a literary agency.
  7. Submit the only copy of your manuscript.
  8. Print and submit your manuscript without reading it for errors.
  9. Send your manuscript by email when the publisher accepts only snail mail submissions.
  10. Go swimming at the YMCA to write a documentary about how the YMCA has improved the health of America, but don’t write the story.
Small Badge Pub Sub 3rd Fri

I am a PubSub3rdFri Participant

Below are Pub Subbers (PubSub3rdFri) Step-by-Step directions for submission to a publisher, agent, or contest:

  • Week 1
  • Week 2
  • Week 3 Pub Subbers aim for submitting a manuscript on the Third Friday of the month, but earlier or later is fine.
  • Week 4

Thank you for reading my blog. Richard M. Voza left a comment on June 14, 2013 saying he wished someone would write his query letter for him.

There were contests with this blog post. The winners are in the comments area.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Subscribe to my blog to receive a free Never Give Up logo image, click “Sign Me Up” in the left hand column.

Celebrate you.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

Advertisements

26 Responses

  1. Very encouraging thoughts. Unpublished writers can use all the tips and encouragement they can get. Thanks

    Like

    • Dear Camille,
      Thank you for writing. You’re very welcome. I’m glad this post was encouraging to you. You’re right unpublished writers can use all the tips and encouragement they can get. Good luck with your writing and submitting.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  2. Thanks for the great list. I’m getting quite a collection from you. 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Kristina,
      Thank you for writing. You’re welcome for my list. You honor me by saving a collection of my lists! May they empower you to reach your goals.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

      • I love to get tips that make me think and help me improve my writing. As for the goals, I’m still working toward them.

        Like

        • Dear Kristina,
          Thanks for writing. I’m glad my tips make you think and help you improve your writing. Each step of improvement takes you closer to your goals. Believe it.

          Never Give Up
          Joan Y. Edwards

          Like

  3. Joan,

    Fun write up and exercise, Joan. I especially liked the writer’s crock pot. I also liked that Silly Sally’s actions were different from the first list of positive decisions to make as a writer. This made me think in broader terms. I hope Silly Sally eventually uses that swimming research to write a story. If not, maybe it will lead to a new and improved exercise routine that makes her healthier and happier.

    Like

    • Dear Linda,
      Thank you for writing. I appreciate your loyalty in reading and commenting on my blog posts. Thanks for the compliment of saying it was a fun write up and exercise. I had fun creating it. I thought about mixing the Smart and Not So Smart ideas in the same list, but I thought it made a better statement by separating them. I didn’t know that by making Silly Sally’s actions separate that it would make readers think in broader terms. I did want people to have to think a little. I hope Silly Sally uses her swimming research to write a story, too. You are right, it could lead her to a new and improved exercise routine that makes her healthier and happier. Celebrate your way of looking at things from different angles.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  4. Thank you, Joan! You always have such wise words to share. I especially like the idea of a “writer’s crockpot!” I read FLIP FLAP FLOODLE to the preschoolers at the conference I worked at last week. They loved it!
    : ) Becky

    Like

    • Dear Becky,
      Thank you for writing. I am glad you believe the words I share are wise. I’m glad you like the “writer’s crockpot.” Thank you for choosing to read FLIP FLAP FLOODLE to the preschoolers at the conference you worked at last week. It is exciting and heartwarming that the preschoolers loved it. I have never met a child who didn’t love Flip Flap Floodle. Each time I go back to a school, children sing his song for me. Children and adults sing it when they’re not sure they can do things. It helps them persevere. This makes me smile. Thank you for doing a review of Flip on Amazon in 2010.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  5. Good job as usual Joan. Are you going to be at the SCBWIC conference this year? I hope to meet you there. Sarah

    Like

    • Dear Sarah,
      Thank you for writing. I’m glad you believe I did a good job. I plan to go to the SCBWI-Carolinas Conference in September. I do hope to see you there.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  6. Not So Smart #2 – Oiiii!!! … the closest I came to that was way back when I started and I submitted a short story that had, at best only two edits. I re-read it some years later and cringed … however we all start somewhere.
    No, the story wasn’t accepted … funny that!

    Like

    • Dear Widdershins,
      Thank you for writing. You honor me with your comments. Isn’t it interesting what we learn along the writer’s path to success?
      Reading works we wrote a couple of years ago can fill us with awe or I can’t believe I sent that off. I’ve done a little of both. I believe it happens to most of us.
      Good luck with your writing. I love your sense of humor.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  7. We all have those discouraged moments… published and unpublished alike! I relate to your post, Joan!

    Like

    • Dear Maureen,
      Thanks for writing. You honor me with your comments. You are right. Published and unpublished writers experience discouraging moments. When we think these moments are helping us move closer to our goal, we don’t fear them as much. Then we can go with the flow.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  8. Thank you Joan, I really needed to read this today. I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!

    Like

    • Dear Kathleen,
      Thank you for writing. I’m glad that my blog post met your needs today. Thanks for the wishes for a wonderful 4th of July. I hope you enjoy yourself on the 4th of July, too.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  9. Here are the awesome people who posted a comment on “Be Smart – Submit Your Manuscript:”
    1. Camille Ettenger
    2. Kristina Stanley
    3. Linda Martin Andersen
    4. Becky Shillington
    5. Sarah Maury Swan
    6. Widdershins
    7. Maureen Wartski
    8. Kathleen Burkinshaw

    I asked http://www.Random.org to choose a number for me between 1-8. It chose…dun ta dun…Number 7. So Maureen Wartski won a free composition of a query for one of her manuscripts. She will furnish me with the name and website of the place she wants to submit her manuscript. I’ll also need her story summary and answers to a few other questions.

    I’ll put this in a separate post so you can congratulate Maureen.

    Let me know if you would like for me to offer this giveaway another time.

    Let’s celebrate together.
    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

    Like

  10. Maureen Wartski put a comment on the next blog saying she didn’t have a manuscript ready to send off. She asked if she could cede her prize to another writer on my list. Therefore, I asked random.org to choose another winner. It chose Kathleen Burkinshaw! She will furnish me with the name and website of the place she wants to submit her manuscript. I’ll also need her story summary and answers to a few other questions.

    Let’s celebrate together.
    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

    Like

  11. It’s amazing in support of me to have a site, which is valuable in favor of my know-how. thanks admin

    Like

    • Thanks for writing. I’m glad you found my blog valuable.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  12. I won! And here’s what happened. I wish I could have Joan review my entire manuscript. She sent me a covering letter describing her overall strategy and what her highlighting meant .She gave me high level comments before reviewing each line in detail. The critique included story line comments, grammar and punctuation. It’s exciting to receive professional feedback that will help me improve the quality of my story. She included areas for improvement and highlighted sentences she thought were good. Now I have to get to work and make this better. It’s amazing what a second pair of eyes can do for a manuscript. Thanks Joan. You are a star!

    Like

    • Dear Kristina,
      Thank you for writing. I’m glad you won the free 1000 word critique. I’m honored you liked my critique and that it helped you see ways to improve the quality of your story. I hope it becomes a New York Times Best Seller. Celebrate you!
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  13. […] posted an offer of a free manuscript review just for commenting on her blog. So I commented and I […]

    Like

    • Dear Kristina,
      Thanks for putting a link to my blog post on your blog. I appreciate it. I’m glad you were pleased with my critique of your manuscript.
      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

I love hearing from you. To subscribe to comments, check the box below. Children 14 & older may comment (COPPA Law).

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: