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Power Pack Your Short Bio for Agent Queries

Power Pack Your Short Bio

“Power Pack Your Short Bio for Agent Queries” by Joan Y. Edwards

Sandra Warren, one of my loyal followers asked me to write a blog about what to put in the bio section of a query letter to a literary agent. It could also be used for the bio inside a cover letter to an editor. 

Heather Hummel at Huffington Post advises you to read your bio aloud after you write them. Wonderful advice.

Chuck Sambuchino says a bio is more important for a non-fiction work.

Editors and Agents want to know your personal credentials. Why are you qualified to write this book? Give facts to support the sentence: I am the best person to write this book.

Make your 3 sentence bio sound professional. Write it in the first person. Use only three or four sentences. Cover the three power areas listed below: 


1.Personal Interest and Experience

I am the best person to write this book.

Tell why you wrote this book. Tell about your personal interests and experience in this particular field related to the subject of the manuscript or article you are submitting.

Your book is about biking: Tell about your interest in biking and places you biked. Don’t tell about where you’ve traveled by boat or by airplane. It’s not related to biking.

If your book is about a certain community, tell how you know about this community. If you lived there, mention that.


I qualify to write this book because I have expert skills and knowledge in this subject that I attained through extensive research, experience, education, or occupation. 

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a particular field…to become an expert. If you study for 8 hours each day, your 10,000 hours would be up in 1,250 days or about 3.5 years. So I believe if you study a subject for 3.5 years, you probably know a great deal about it.

Explain your skills and knowledge of the subject of your  manuscript. Tell your main job, training, education, degree, published article, short story, or novel related to the subject.

If it’s about business marketing, mentioning a Master’s Degree in Business is a great idea.

If your book is about teaching and you’ve never taught or taken classes, why would people want to read what you’ve written?

3. Formal Awards and Other Achievements

 The best reason I qualify to write this book.

Showcase your formal achievements related to the subject of your manuscript. If  you have many achievements, highlight your best accomplishment.

Ginny Wiehardt gives samples from published and unpublished writers.  Nancy, a university instructor helped students improve  their 3 sentence bios in her class. I found these helpful. 

I found 18 resources to help you study the short bio to include to power pack your bio in your query to a prospective agent.

If you put the subject of your book and your draft 3 sentence bio, I’ll be glad to give you ideas to improve your bio in my reply. Other readers may give you their opinions, too, if you like.


  1. Ann R. Allen. “How to Write and Author Bio When You Don’t Feel Like an Author Yet:” http://annerallen.com/2012/09/how-to-write-author-bio-when-you-don/
  2. Ben Carter. “Can 10,000 Hours of Practice Make You an Expert?” http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26384712
  3. Ben Sobieck.  “What Should a Short Bio Contain?” http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/questions-and-quandaries/dealing-with-editors/what-should-a-short-bio-include
  4. Chuck Sambuchino. Writers Digest. “What Should You Write in the Bio Paragraph in a Query Letter?” http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/what-should-you-write-in-the-bio-paragraph-of-a-query-letter
  5. Chuck Sambuchino. “What to Write in the “Bio” Section Of Your Query Letter”
  6. Fiction Desk. “Ten Tips for Writing an Author Bio:” http://www.thefictiondesk.com/blog/tips-for-writing-an-author-bio/
  7. Ginny Wiehardt. “Samples of Short Bios for a Cover Letter (Literary Journal) – The Balance:” https://www.thebalance.com/sample-short-bios-for-literary-journals-1277413 
  8. Heather Hummel. “10 Tips on How to Write a Bio:” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-hummel/10-tips-on-how-to-write-a-bio_b_4908716.html
  9. Joan Y. Edwards.”Components of a Good Query Letter:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/components-of-a-good-query-letter/
  10. Joan Y. Edwards. “Why Not? Write a Query Letter or Cover Letter. Go Ahead.” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/why-not-day-9-write-a-query-letter-or-cover-letter-go-ahead/
  11. Joan Y. Edwards. “Will Your Query Letter Sell Your Manuscript?” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/will-your-query-letter-sell-your-manuscript/
  12. Loolwa Khazzoom. “4 Steps to Writing a Professional Bio That Gets You Noticed:” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/loolwa-khazzoom/4-steps-to-writing-a-professional-bio_b_4131309.html
  13. Peter Economy. “3 Simple Steps to Becoming an Expert in Anything:” https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/3-simple-steps-to-becoming-an-expert-in-anything.html
  14. “Post Your 3 Sentence Bio Here:” https://itp.nyu.edu/classes/pw-sp2015/post-your-3-sentence-bio-here/
  15. QQAdmin1. Writers Digest. “What Should You Include in Your Bio for Agents?” http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/questions-and-quandaries/dealing-with-editors/what-should-you-include-in-your-bio-for-agents 
  16. Scott Berkum. “How to Write a Good Bio:” http://scottberkun.com/2013/how-to-write-a-good-bio/
  17. Writers Relief Staff. “The Dos And Don’ts of Writing Your Author Bio: Query Letter And Cover Letter Tips:” http://writersrelief.com/blog/2010/07/your-professional-bio-query-letter-and-cover-letter-tips-for-writers/
  18. Writers Relief Staff. “5 Tips on Writing an Amazing Author Bio If You’re Not Well-Published:” http://writersrelief.com/blog/2016/09/5-tips-writing-amazing-author-bio/


Never Give Up

Please check out Joan’s books:
Flip Flap Floodle, Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide A guide to help caregivers and elders never give up

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2018 Joan Y. Edwards


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Why Not? Day 10 Submit Your Manuscript. Go Ahead.

“Why Not? Day 10 Submit Your Manuscript. Go Ahead” by Joan Y. Edwards

  1. You’ve written sentences.


    Why Not image Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

  2. You’ve written paragraphs.
  3. You’ve written an article, poem, short story, manuscript, screenplay.
  4. You’ve written a title.
  5. You’ve written a pitch.
  6. You’ve revised your writing at least three times.
  7. You’ve had your work critiqued by a critique group, a writing partner, and/or a professional editor. You’ve decided which suggestions you’ll honor and revised your manuscript again. You’ve proofread it and had others to proofread it, too.
  8. You’ve picked out one publisher or agent.
  9. You’ve written your query/cover letter.


Reread the guidelines of the publisher, agent, or contest you’ve chosen. Make sure you are following them.
Proofread your manuscript.
Proofread your query/cover letter.
If appropriate, proofread your proposal or story summary.

If you have decided that this is as good as you can possibly get it with the information you have, the talents you have, and the understanding that you have, go for it. Submit your manuscript! Say a prayer. Go ahead. Do it. Submit your manuscript.

I call this Pub Subbing. Here are the links to the three weeks before you submit during the third week. Of course, you can speed up this process or slow it down to suit your situation.

Pub Subbers
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 10 blog posts to help you get from story idea to submission. You can also use these ideas to help you get your illustrations ready to submit, too. You can put illustrations on a post card with your contact information and send it to a long list of publishers and agents. Please share them with your Facebook friends or with your Twitter accounts. 

  1. “Why Not? Day 1 Write. Go ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3t0/
  2. “Why Not? Day 2 Write a Sentence. Go ahead.” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3u1
  3. “Why Not? Day 3 Write a Paragraph. Go Ahead.” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3uf
  4. “Why Not? Day 4 Write a Snappy Title. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3wG
  5. “Why Not? Day 5 Write a Pitch. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xh
  6. “Why Not? Day 6 Revise Your Writing. Go Ahead.” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xl
  7. “Why Not? Day 7 Get Your Writing Critiqued. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xj
  8. “Why Not? Day 8 Make a List of Good Publishers. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xp
  9. “Why Not? Day 9 Write a Query Letter or Cover Letter. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xm
  10. “Why Not? Day 10 Submit Your Manuscript. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xw

Thank you for reading my blog. I believe there may be a problem with the emails. I don’t believe many of you have been receiving emails when new blog posts are published. Please leave a comment and let me know whether or not you’re receiving emails. 


Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards


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How to Prepare for Your Upcoming Conference

How to Prepare for Your Next Conference image Copyright 2016 Joan Y. Edwards.jpg

How to Prepare for Your Next Conference image Copyright 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

“How to Prepare for Your Upcoming Conference” by Joan Y. Edwards

Here are a few key ways to prepare for a conference that you will attend in person. I wrote this with writers and illustrators in mind. However, I believe most of the ideas would be beneficial and could be adapted to anyone attending a conference in any profession. It’s in 3 parts: before the conference, during the conference, and after the conference. I hope that by attending a conference, you’ll learn a new skill or marketing technique that inspires you to reach your goals.

Before the Conference

  1. What skill do you most want to improve? Attend the workshops that will help you improve that skill.
  2. Visit the webpages of at least three of the presenters that interest you. If they have a website, read the about me. Check out their books at your local library or on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

  3. If you have specific questions for presenters, write them down on 3×5 cards and ask them at the conference during the workshops. If you don’t get a chance to ask them in person, most handouts or websites give contact information so you can write and ask them later.

  4. Get business cards with your name, address, phone number, email address, website, and blog. Many people put an image and link to their published books on the back. Use www.VistaPrint.comwww.Gotprint.comwww.BCEofNC.com, or local print shop. You can also create business cards on your computer.

  5. Giveaways – Get bookmarks printed: www.VistaPrint.comwww.Gotprint.comwww.BCEofNC.com. You can also make bookmarks by hand or on your computer.

  6. Giveaways – Get postcards printed of your best illustrations or of your book covers with a selling pitch for them: www.VistaPrint.comwww.Gotprint.comwww.BCEofNC.com. You can also make bookmarks by hand or on your computer.

  7. Buy a new spiral notebook with a bright colorful design or a composition book with a black and white cover. This way all of your notes are in one place. You can put it in front of your computer when you get home, and transfer your handwritten notes to your computer. You can add information from handouts by scanning them into your computer, or by typing what you want to remember from the handouts.

  8. Buy two pens that are dependable and write just the way you like a pen to write. Put them in your pocketbook to take with you.

  9. Write a pitch for three of your manuscripts. Print out your pitches on 3×5 cards, 4×6 inch cards, or plain 8.5 x 11 printing paper. Carry two copies of each pitch with you to the conference. Put one copy in a folder and the other in your pocketbook. Practice giving your pitch in front of a mirror. Use eye contact. Memorize it.

  10. Take comfortable clothing to wear in your favorite colors to keep your spirits high. Take a sweater or blazer, in case the air conditioning is too cool for your inner thermostat. If you’re hot, you can take off the blazer. A good work attire for writers/illustrators is a pair of jeans, a shirt, and a blazer. Linda Rohrbough says that you want the editors to think you just left your computer to meet with them. Be comfortable. If you feel better being all dressed up, dress up. It’s important for you to be comfortable and feel distinguished.

  11. Check your laptop, iPad, or iPhone. Charge its battery. Purchase a portable disc drive or flash drive. Most of them are USB port compatible. Copy your full manuscripts of the Works in Progress and other pertinent information you may need for the conference to a portable drive. If you use Dropbox, you can put your manuscripts in it on your main computer. Add the Dropbox app to your iPad or other electronic device. You can see your manuscript from all devices. Check it out before you leave home.

At the Conference

1.Take notes.

Take notes using your new spiral notebook or composition book or take notes on your laptop or other device.

2.Hand out business cards.

Hand out business cards to everyone with whom you talk. Ask for their business cards, too. This will give you resources to check after the conference. The more you do this, the more comfortable and natural it will be for you. Make a goal of handing out at least 10-30 cards and getting an equal number in exchange.

3.Talk to people sitting beside you in a workshop.

Do you feel lonely and out of touch with people? Talk to the people who sit beside you in the workshops. Exchange names, email addresses, and business cards with them. Here are possible questions to start your conversation:

“What are you writing?”
“Are you in writing group? Is it online or face-to-face?”
“How do you find time to write (illustrate)?”
“Do you (draw) write best in the morning or at night?”

4.  If you meet a publisher or agent, ask them questions about themselves and their projects.

If you happen to meet an agent or editor in the elevator or at lunch, remember he/she is human, like you. Ask one of these questions or one of your own:

“What is your favorite project right now?”
“How do you know when a book is right for you?”
“What’s your advice for writers(illustrators)?”

5. Be ready to answer questions about your writing with a pitch.

After your question for an editor or agent, there is a great possibility he/she will ask you, “What kind of writing do you do?” This is a perfect lead in for your pitch. Hold your head high. Look the editor/agent in the eye. Pretend he’s your best friend and tell him your pitch.

6. Take a short walk for exercise in between sessions.

7. Get plenty of sleep.

8. Eat healthy fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Drink plenty of water. This will keep you alert and focused.

9. Enjoy yourself and learn as much as you can.

10. List twenty things for which you are thankful each morning before you get out of bed.

11. Thank the presenters and the organizers

Tell the presenters and organizers what you liked about the conference. Make suggestions for improvements.

12. If you a book inspires you at the workshop, buy it or ask for it at your public library.

After the Conference

1. Sleep, if you’re tired.

Accept yourself and others as you are. Focus on what you want. Be thankful for what you have. Be grateful for where you are. Put the fun back into your writing.

2. After you’ve rested, read and organize your notes from each workshop.

Edit your notes and add information from your handouts. You can scan pertinent information from the handouts into your computer.  Write at least three major things you learned from each workshop. You can write down more details if you want.

3. Make a top ten list of things that you learned at the overall conference.

4. Write/Revise Your Writing/Illustrating Goals

After this information soaks into your mind, body, and spirit, write/revise three writing/illustrating goals using the skills and information you learned. (Be patient with yourself.)

5. Writing Skill/Genre Goals

a) Read ten books in your chosen genre and three books on the craft of writing and/or illustrating.

b) Revise your favorite manuscript and submit it to an editor or agent.

6. Marketing Goals

a) Learn a new technology.

b) Submit manuscripts/sample illustrations to different agents and/or editors often.

c) Join my Pub Subbers Yahoo Group, a group to encourage you to submit your manuscript/portfolio often (monthly if possible). To join, write me and tell me why you would like to join at joanyedwards1@gmail.com. Members post successes, ask other members for help. etc. Members receive automated reminders for the weekly steps to get your work ready for submission.

Pub Subbers

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

d) Prepare a book presentation for schools/organization.

e) Prepare a proposal to present a workshop for a writing conference.

f) Prepare a pitch for a manuscript. Go from a page summary and then focus on the words to hook readers. Keep shortening your pitch: 200-100-50-25 words. The ultimate goal is a pitch that is 140 characters long (approximately 25 words) that fits in Twitter. If you have all these different lengths, you will have a pitch to use in your cover letter, proposal, and for the rave blurbs for the back cover of your book. Your pitch is the magnetic tool that will entice people to buy your book.

g) Prepare a post card, business card, bookmark, signature for email to promote you and your writing. Use your book titles and pitch blurbs.

7. Networking Goals

a) Create a website and/or blog.

b) Join a critique group.that focuses on genres you write or illustrate.

c) Give book presentations/workshops for schools and organizations

d) Create an author/illustrator page on Facebook and post news of your publishing journey.

e) Create a Twitter Account. Twitter your blog posts and your publishing news.

f) Visit the website of three people who shared a business card with you.  Email them. Here are possible points to include in your email. Remind them of how you enjoyed talking with them. Thank them for sharing a resource. Congratulate them on their manuscript or book. Compliment them for being brave if they read their story at open mike. Thank them for giving you a new way to look at a problem.

g) Make a list of your followers on Facebook and Twitter. When you get your book published, they will be helpful in spreading the word about your book.  Interact with at least 25 of them on a regular basis.


  1. Kristen Lamb, “Getting the Most Out of Writing Conferences:” http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/getting-the-most-out-of-writing-conferences/.
  2. Margo L. Dill, “Writers Conferences: Five Reasons Why You Should Go NOW, and How to Get the Most for Your Money:” http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/13-FE-MargoDill.html/.
  3. Marita Littauer, “Four Keys for Writers Conference Success:” http://www.right-writing.com/conference-keys.html/.
  4. Yvonne Russell, “Getting the Most out of a Writers’ Conference:” http://www.growyourwritingbusiness.com/?p=47/.
  5. Do I Still Need Business Cards for Networking? (projecteve.com)


Thank you for reading my blog. Each time you read one of my articles, you honor me.  I hope your success is better than you ever imagined.

Click on comment and scroll down to the bottom of the page.


Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2012-2016 Joan Y. Edwards


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7 Steps to Amazing Cover Letters

Copyright ©2015 Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright ©2015 Joan Y. Edwards

“7 Steps to Amazing Cover Letters” by Joan Y. Edwards

A cover letter is not the same as a query letter. A query asks for permission to send a manuscript.

A cover letter encloses or attaches a manuscript along with it. Sometimes editors or agents request a chapter or a whole manuscript. Sometimes guidelines tell you to send your whole manuscript. If you’re attaching or enclosing a book manuscript or article, you need a cover letter to accompany it.  

When you write a cover letter,

  1. Address a certain person if possible.
  2. Make it only one page, business format, single-spaced, your name and address and date in right hand corner. The publisher name and editor or agency name and agent and address listed on left hand side.
  3. Lead off with the short selling pitch/blurb of 25 words or less for your manuscript. A pitch is an eye-catching, heart-trapping summary of your book or article. It can also be called your “Hook.” Ask your critique group or partner to help you formulate a good pitch. Write your pitch on a 3×5 card. If you can’t get it all written on the front side of the card, it’s too long. Here are articles about writing a pitch:
    1.  8 Steps to a Powerful Pitch:” https://www.writersstore.com/the-8-steps-to-a-powerful-pitch/.                                   
    2. A Selling Pitch Is Short with a Strong Emotional Tug:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/a-selling-pitch-is-short-with-a-strong-emotional-tug/
    3. “Write Your Pitch First:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/write-your-pitch-first/
    4. “How to Deliver a Short, Gutsy Pitch to Entice Editors, Agents, and Readers:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/how-to-deliver-a-short-gutsy-pitch-to-entice-editors-agents-and-readers/
  4. Tell why you and your book or illustrations are a good fit for this publisher or agent. Mention one book published by the editor or represented by the agent that is similar to yours and tell how your book would hook and attract readers to it.
  5. Give your publication credits. If you don’t have any, mention that you’re a member of SCBWI, or other literary group. SCBWI has a great reputation with publishers.
  6. Tell if this is an exclusive submission (only submitting to this editor or agent for three months or a simultaneous submission (more than one publisher or agent at a time).
  7. Call for action and thank you. Ask a question or proclaim a statement of why you want this particular publisher or agent to do. Thank them.

Will you publish my book?
I’d be honored if you’d consider publishing my book. Thank you for considering it.
I’d like for you to publish my book. Thank you for considering it.
Thank you for your considering the publication of my work.

Will you represent me as my agent?
I’d be honored if you’d consider being my agent.
I’d like for you to be my agent. Thanks for considering me.
Thank you for considering being my agent.

Here are three good sources for cover letters:

  1. Ginny Wiehardt. “Cover Letter Advice.”Fiction Writing.com http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/thebusinessofwriting/tp/coverslettershowto.htm
  2. Jimmy Sweeney. Quint Careers.com. “Effective cover Letter.” http://www.quintcareers.com/effective_cover-letter.html
  3. John Floyd. “Cover Me – I’m Going In!” http://www.writing-world.com/queries/floyd.shtml
  4. Moira Allen. “Cover Letters: When, How and Why to Use Them.” http://www.writing-world.com/queries/cover.shtml

Good luck with the publication of your writing and illustrating. Thank you for reading my blog. Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards


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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.

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Celebrate you.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

7 Good Reasons to Submit Your Story (September PubSub3rdFri)

Small Badge Pub Sub 3rd Fri

Seven Good Reasons to Submit Your Story (September PubSub3rdFri) by Joan Y. Edwards

Dear Pub Subbers,

Here are seven good reasons to submit your story.

  1. This is the only way that an agent or editor will be able to discover how great your story is.
  2. It increases your chances for getting published 100% from not submitting it.
  3. It says to your inner self that you believe in your story. That you have faith in it. Faith in your story takes it to publication.
  4. The world needs your story to make it a better, stronger, more knowledgeable, better educated, wiser, happier place,  and to solve a problem for your reader(s).
  5. You will receive money or other good things for your service to the world.
  6. Others will validate your worth and encourage you to write another story. You will be helping others.
  7. God will be proud of you for sharing your gift with others.

My PubSub3rdFri posts have words, skills, and resources to encourage you to submit your work, and explain the steps to take to get you there to submission day:

PubSub3rdFri Posts

List of all PubSub3rdFri blog posts: https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/category/writing/pub-sub-3rd-fri/.

The following links tell you what to do the first three weeks of the month to get ready to submit your manuscript on the third Friday.

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

After you submit, Week Four.

Even with complications and obstacles, the vision of success in your mind, the excitement of getting it, your thankfulness, and your action toward it will create the reality for you.

Submit your work. You are worth it. Good luck with all your life endeavors.

Please sign up for an email subscription from the left hand column.

Celebrate being you! You’re great just as you are now.

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2011 Joan Y. Edwards

15 Steps to Increase Your Chances at Publication (Pub Sub)

“15 Steps to Increase Your Chances at Publication (Pub Sub)” by Joan Y. Edwards

(I wrote this in June 3, 2011. It has had 382 views as of today, July 25, 2015. I hope it helps you become a published author.)

Dear Pub Subbers,

I can’t believe it’s June already. This year is almost half-way over. Let’s think about it. How many submissions have you made this year to critique groups, a paid critique, a free critique by someone, a publisher, an agent, or for a contest? Whether your answer is 0, 1, 21, or 41, accept your answer as being good for you at this particular time in your life. However, I want to motivate you to make at least 7 more submissions this year. That’s one for each month.

If you submit one manuscript a year, and you agreed to submit one each month, you have been 1/12  or 8% successful in carrying out your goal. Here’s a chart with all 12 months listed with the appropriate percentage beside it.

1/12 = 8%
2/12 = 16%
3/12 = 25%
4/12 = 33%
5/12 = 41%
6/12 = 50%
7/12 = 58%
8/12 = 66%
9/12 = 75%
10/12 = 83%
11/12 = 91%
12/12 = 100%

You can also look at how submitting more often increases the chances of getting published. If you send out one manuscript to one publisher, how much better your odds will be if you send out one manuscript to three well-matched publishers. You increase your chances 17%. It would take you from an 8% chance to a 25% chance of getting published. If you send out three different manuscripts to three different publishers, you have increased your chances to 50% chance of getting published. If you send out one manuscript to six different agents or publishers, you have increased your chances to 50% chance of getting an agent.

If you decided that these percentages don’t mean anything, you may be right. I believe the rates vary for different writers. However, I can tell you this. If you don’t submit your work at least 12 times in one year, you are not seriously convinced that your story is good or that someone will publish it. Some people have never experienced rejection for their writing. Dr. Seuss got rejected 27 times or more for his first book.  Some people say you have to be rejected 100 times. I’m not receiving that, but if that was so. here’s the percentage rate on that:
1/100 = 1% chance of being published.
2/100 = 2% chance of being published.
3/100 = 3% chance of being published.
44/100 = 44% chance of being published.
66/100 = 66% chance of being published.
99/100 = 99% chance of being published.
100/100 = 100% chance of being published.

It’s sort of like a weather prediction, even thought you have submitted 100 manuscripts, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will get published. However, if you don’t submit again, even after 1000 rejections, you will never get published. Your goal has to be that you will keep submitting and making your story better and better. Keep submitting no matter how many rejections you get. Realize that there is a publisher looking for you while you are looking for this publisher.  If your goal truly is to be published, you will not give up. You will keep submitting. You will keep the faith in yourself and your writing.

If you submit to the magazine market rather than the book market, you may have a better chance of being a paid published author. It won’t take as long to get your answer. It’s a good idea to experiment with writing for newspapers, magazines, non-fiction, fiction.  Experiment with writing for children and adults. If your goal is to be published, you are published when you write a blog. You have to specify paid published writer in your goals. Being published in other writing markets will help build a writer’s confidence in the book market. These writing credits also look good on a resume.

I can safely say that if you follow the 15 guidelines below, you will increase the possibilities of making your publication dreams come true.

Here are my 15 ways to increase your chances at publication:

  1. Set your goals.
  2. Believe in yourself and your writing. As Lisa Nichols said in the movie, “The Secret”, “have unwavering faith.” No matter what the circumstances are or how bad things look, you continue to believe in yourself and your writing.

  3. If you are not able to believe in yourself and your writing:

a. Take an online or in person workshop.

b. Ask the teacher/presenter of the workshop to critique your work (be willing to pay them $35.00 for 10 pages.)

c. Pray.

d. Say I am a paid published author ten times a day. It will make new brain cells in your mind. Your subconscious mind will steer you to publication when you act on your belief. Submitting your work is acting on the belief that you are a paid published author.

  1. Write a pitch for the story you have in mind to write.  I’ve discovered it’s a lot easier to write a winning pitch for a story before you write it than it is when it’s finished.
  2. Decide which genre, and who the audience will be.

  3. Write the story, novel, poem, or article.

a. Revise.

b. Submit manuscript for critique to

(1) a professional critiquer, someone who has gotten at least 10 published articles or books in the same genre as yours.

(2) a critique group – online or in person – Online can give more input; in person groups that just read it and give their opinion will give you a good overview. You can ask them to concentrate on the First Page, your query letter, your proposal, your cover letter.

c. Revise again. Never change anything you don’t agree with 100%.  When you do that, you’re making it someonelse’s story, not yours.

d. Get the story, novel, poem, or article in the “This is the best I can do at this moment in time with the knowledge and skills that I have.” Proceed to number 7.

  1. Study the market for this kind of story, novel, poem, or article.
  2. Choose three possible publishers, three agents, and three contests for this story who according to the guidelines are interested in this type of publication. If you send your query, cover letter, proposal, and/or manuscripts to  publishers, editors, agents who do not publish that kind of work, you are pushing yourself off the train tracks to success.

  3. Copy the links to their guidelines and copy their guidelines at the top of your query letter or cover letter. Copy it to the top of the proposal.

  4. Follow their guidelines. Follow their guidelines. Follow their guidelines.

  5. Check your manuscript, query letter, cover letter, and proposal for correct

a. formatting (manuscript formatting, poetry -rhyme and meter)

b. grammar and punctuation

c. following the guidelines of the publisher, literary agency, or contest where you are submitting

d. hook (pitch)

e. universal theme

f. plot –

(1) ordinary day,

(2) something bad happens,

(3) main character tries to reach goal of straightening out the situation, drops deeper in trouble.

(4) main character tries again to reach goal of straightening out the situation, and drops the deepest in the very worst that the situation could get.

(5) main character has an aha moment of how to solve the problem.

(6) main character does something to confront the villain (or villainous situation) and wins

(7) tell what happens to everyone else in the story as a result of the win.

(8) everything is back to an ordinary day, but it’s a better day than when the story’s problem showed up.

g. magnetic characters that stick to the reader’s minds because of their situations, thoughts, feelings, words, and actions.

  1. Print everything out. Read it over again. Leave it sitting in your computer or in a folder for at least 24 hours.
  2. Make necessary changes to correct errors to query letter, cover letter, proposal, or manuscript.

  3. Get it in final condition for mailing or emailing:

a. If email submission, copy and paste into the email. Check to make sure it kept the formatting of your original document. Make sure if they allow attachments and in what format they allow them.

b. If snail mail submission, address it properly, put your name and return address; enclose self-addressed stamped envelope, if the guidelines ask for one. Put correct postage on envelope.

  1. Say a prayer. Have a winning attitude. Visualize the person who receives it as smiling and really being pulled into your work and talking excitedly to everyone in their office about it.  Now push the send button on the computer, or put the envelope in the mailbox. Then visualize yourself receiving a “Yes.” Get excited. It’s really coming. In spite of all the odds against it. In spite of any doubts anyone has. You are a paid published writer.
  2. Repeat all the above steps for a different work. Repeat from Step 7 – 15 for the same work to different publishers, agents, or contests. When you submit in June, let me know in a comment to this June 2011 Pub Sub 3rd Friday blog post.

Here are six  articles I found on the internet to help further increase your chances to get published.

  1. Michelle Kerns “30 Authors Who Were Rejected Repeatedly and Sometimes Rudely by Publishers” http://www.examiner.com/book-in-national/30-famous-authors-whose-works-were-rejected-repeatedly-and-sometimes-rudely-by-publishers
  • David Miller “Four Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting Published” http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/4-ways-to-increase-your-chances-of-getting-publishing/

  • Sharon Miner “What Are the Chances at Getting Published?”  http://www.ehow.com/info_8097393_chances-getting-published.html

  • James Weseen “How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Published” http://www.writerscoop.org/How_to_Increase_your_Chances_of_Getting_Published.pdf

  • Henry at Creative Writers Desk “Increase Your Odds of Getting Published with a Killer Query Letter”  http://www.creativewritersdesk.com/queryletter.html

  • Julie H. Ferguson http://www.beaconlit.com/fiveways.pdf


    Other Information to help you submit your work and get published!

    Pub Sub

    Week One

    Week Two

    Week Three Pub Sub Friday

    Week Four

    Submit your work. You are worth it. Good luck with all your publication endeavors.

    Thanks for reading my blog.

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards
    Copyright © 2011-2015 Joan Y. Edwards

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