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March into Publication

“March into Publication” by Joan Y. Edwards

Hurray for you! You have a finished manuscript!

Now, you can get ready to submit your manuscript to a publisher or an agent. Here are seven steps I recommend you go through before you submit your manuscript.

Seven Steps Before You Submit Your Manuscript

  1. Write a pitch/logline/summary for your manuscript. 
  2. Get your manuscript critiqued by a critique partner or a critique group, chapter by chapter. If you have the funds, pay a professional editor. Ask for titles of books he has edited in your manuscript’s genre. Make sure you like what he’s done with other books in your genre. Remember that someone who does an outstanding job of editing picture books might not do as well with romance novels.
  3. When you feel that your manuscript is the best you can do at this particular time with the knowledge and skills you have, submit it to a publisher or agent who accepts unsolicited manuscripts.
  4. Find a publisher or agent who accepts unsolicited manuscripts. Read their guidelines.
  5. Write a query or cover letter. If your manuscript is non-fiction, write a proposal, too. 
  6. Follow the submission guidelines for the chosen publisher or agent.

a. Write a query letter (no manuscript included) 
b. Write a cover letter to accompany your manuscript
c. Write a proposal if it’s a nonfiction book.

     7. Submit according to the guidelines of the chosen publisher or agent

a. Snail Mail – U.S. Postal Service
b. Email
c. Submission form on website

Good luck! Please leave a comment. I love hearing from you!


Never Give Up

Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy of one of my books. I appreciate your confidence and support. May many good things happen to you because of your kindness to me. 
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


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

Join over 385 Valued Subscribers and receive entertaining, encouraging posts PLUS 3 free gifts:

  1. Never Give Up image
  2. 20 Affirmations for Writers
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  1. Log out of your WordPress account and sign up with an email that’s not on your WordPress account 
  2. Log into your WordPress account and sign up with the email that you used for it. 


Why Not? Day 5 Write a Pitch. Go Ahead.

Why Not image Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

Why Not image Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

Why Not? Day 5 Write a Pitch. Go Ahead.

A pitch can be called an elevator pitch or a logline (in the case of a screenplay. A pitch doesn’t tell the ending of the story. A pitch for an article, thesis, picture book or novel is 25 words or two sentences telling enough about a story to capture the interest of a possible reader, publisher, agent, or editor. A pitch is used in person, online, in chats, interviews, query letters, cover letters, proposals, and on the covers of books. It’s your door to getting another person interested in what you’ve written.

A blurb on the back of a book is a longer pitch – perhaps 100 words,  ten sentences, depending on the publisher or author’s decision. You can add to it, but the essential information that pulls us in should be one or two sentences.

Write your pitch before you write your story. What? You say you’ve already written your story. That’s okay. Write your pitch now. Write it before your next revision. Doing this will help you make sure your story is what your pitch says it is. Your pitch is your promise to your readers of your story’s emotional impact.

It’s a great idea to practice your pitch. Have it ready when someone asks you, “What are you writing now?”

Start you stopwatch. You’ve got 30-60 seconds to get the person’s attention with the pitch for your book. If you stammer too long, the person will start a new topic of conversation or if leave the elevator and your chance goes down the drain.

Be ready. Write your pitch on a 3×5 inch index card. If it won’t fit on the 3×5 inch index card, it’s too long. Keep it with you in your wallet. Practice saying it in front of a mirror.

Christina Mandelski with Upstart Crow Literary says “I like to always start with who the story is about, what challenges the protagonist faces, and some standout detail that makes it feel unique.”

Amy Burkhart, agent, says the pitch has to tell, “Who, What, When, Where, and Why should I care?”

Kathleen Antrim, award-winning author, says a pitch must tell, “What if… and so what?”

­What if?
  1.  Who is the story about – girl, boy, age or grade, man or woman, occupation if it’s important to the plot, and the main character’s major flaw. (You don’t have to tell the names of characters)
  2. Where is she? Historical Fiction necessary. Not always essential.
  3. When does the story take place? Historical Fiction necessary. Not always essential.
  4. What is her problem? Who or what stands in her way?
  5. So what? Why is crisis important to her? Why does she need to win this challenge? What change has to happen for her to win? Does this pull at your heart strings? Does it invoke a deep emotion for the protagonist’s situation?

Here are some of the words about four New York Best Sellers. I shortened them to the nitty gritty (major essence) from the information given on Amazon.com. I don’t have the exact pitches that these authors sent to their agents or publishers.

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain.
Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. What if that’s not true?
The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti
What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she—whoever she is—vanishes completely.

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Charlotte Davis is in pieces.  You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you. But she’s learned how to forget.

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin

Pinmei’s gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller.

Good luck in writing a pitch that hooks your readers, agents, and editors!



smaller Cover Joan's Elder Care Guide by Aidana WillowRaven

Copyright 2016 Aidana Willow-Raven and 4RV Publishing

As I mentioned when I posted this Pitch blog, the voting for the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2016 was over on January 14, 2017. Thank you to all of you who voted for Joan’s Elder Care Guide and other books in the contest. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

Oh my goodness. Joan’s Elder Care Guide came in 3rd Place! Third Place in Best Nonfiction Book! How cool is that! Here’s a link to see the results and to read the sweet comments that touched my heart! 


Thanks for believing in me!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please click on comment and scroll down and tell me your favorite pitch!


Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards


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

Join over 430 Valued Subscribers and receive entertaining, encouraging posts PLUS 3 free gifts:

  1. Never Give Up image
  2. 20 Affirmations for Writers
  3. Ten Time Savers for Writers and Illustrators

Resources -Other blog posts in the Why Not series:

  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

Here are more articles about pitches:

“Writing to Get Published” by Karen Cioffi

This is a reblog from 4RV Publishing: Reading, Writing, and Art News blog, September 4, 2016. It has great articles about writing and publishing.

4RV Publishing published my book, Joan’s Elder Care Guide: Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive. Thank you, 4RV.

“Writing to Get Published” by Karen Cioffi

By Karen Cioffi

All writers have one primary focus—to get published. What makes each of us different is our slant or perspective on the story we’re telling, and how we tell it.

It’s true that anyone can write, but writing to get published is another story. To accomplish this, there four steps you need to include in your writing.

1. Write an out-of-the-ballpark beginning

This is the crucial step that will determine whether the agent or editor keeps reading. Your beginning needs to grab the reader; it needs to lead the reader on without him having to think about it.

To read the rest of this article, go to:
Thank you for reading my blog.

12 Affirmations that Lead to Publication

Pub Sub 2015a
“12 Affirmations that Lead to Publication” by Joan Y. Edwards

Here are affirmations/goal statements for you. Good to write any month of the year. These are not the same as the 12 affirmations that you receive for subscribing to my blog.  Copy them down as they are or change them to suit your personality and need.

  1. I believe in me and my writing.
  2. I write fiction or non-fiction.
  3. I study the writing of best-selling authors.
  4. I revise my work three times before I send it off for critique.
  5. I get my writing critiqued.
  6. I revise and change only the suggestions that I agree with 100%.
  7. I set a date every month (two months, three months, etc) to submit my manuscript.
  8. I follow the guidelines of my chosen publisher, agency, critique group, or contest  and get my query/cover letter, proposal and manuscript in order.
  9. I submit my manuscript (once a month, every three months, every six months). It leads me 100 steps closer to publication and has 100% more successful track record for publication than not submitting. The world needs to hear my voice.
  10. I receive book contracts in the mail. There is power in my words. If I’m going to get what you say, I may as well say what I really want.
  11. My book is published. I visualize the book cover. I make a draft book cover using stick figures or images from www.morguefile.com or other free image site.
  12. Thousands of people buy my book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other book sellers.

So drop your excuses. Click on the Pub Subber links below for steps to get your manuscript ready for submission. Take days, weeks, or months but, get the necessary critiques, final proofs, queries, cover letters, proposals, or other documents ready. Submit your manuscript. The links have detailed steps. I listed a few of the main parts to help you visualize the process.

Pub Subbers

Week 1 Send manuscript off for final critique before submission. Choose publisher or agent. Print Guidelines.

Week 2 Write pitch, query, cover letter, proposal, etc. to make a good impression.

Week 3 Proof read everything. Submit this week.

Week 4 Celebrate life. Write another story.

Good luck in your publication. Believe in you and your writing.

Celebrate you.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards

260 Subscribers (Thank you.)
Please subscribe to Joan’s Never Give Up blog by email from the left-hand column. You’ll receive new blog posts filled with inspiration and information in your inbox as soon as she uploads them. Thanks.
Never Give Up image
12 Affirmations for Writers.

Submit the Very Best Quality Manuscript You Can, But Submit

Pub Sub

“Submit the Best Quality Manuscript You Can, But Submit” by Joan Y. Edwards

I know. You are wondering when is the best time to submit your manuscript. You want to submit this month.

You’ve gone through 7 revisions. Your critique group/partner has critiqued it. You’ve made more revisions. Is your manuscript ready?

If you can say, the following words in all honesty, submit your manuscript:

“This is the best I can do with this manuscript with the knowledge and skills I have right now,”

If not, do what you know needs to be done. Then submit it.

Have you lost your passion for your story?

Have one of your main characters write a letter to you, the author, telling why he wants you to finish the story. Let him tell you what he believes the story needs. The character can ask you questions, too.

Cover these areas in the letter from a character in your manuscript:

1. Story Concept: Logline: Short selling pitch of one or two sentences
2. Short Selling Pitch Summary: 25-60 words
3. Plot

  • Ordinary Day
  • Inciting incident with new goal to solve a really big problem
  • First failure
  • Second failure
  • Third failure
  • Fight
  • Win/Lose
  • What’s it like on the new ordinary day

4. Characters

  • Tell what he wants to do, what he wants to happen
  • Does he want to add new characters?
  • Does he want to take out characters that don’t help or hinder the reaching of the goal.

5. Is the formatting, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure good?

Now write the character back answering his questions and tell him when you will have the manuscript ready to submit. Do your best to keep your word.

Take a chance on you.
Believe in you.
Submit that manuscript.

If you get your manuscript to the quality/best you can do stage, then you are ready to start Week 1 of Pub Subbers. Do all the Steps for Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. They take you to getting your manuscript submitted.

Learn more about Pub Subbers: https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/pubsubbers/

Has using the Pub Subbers plan helped you?

Please let me know.

Celebrate you.
Write. Write. Write.
Never Give Up

Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards


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Will Your Query Letter Sell Your Manuscript?

Query image Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

Query image Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

“Will Your Query Letter Sell Your Manuscript?” by Joan Y. Edwards

Does your query letter have what It takes? Does it contain all the components of a good query letter? Does it have all the necessary ingredients? Will your query letter sell your manuscript? Check it out for all the components listed below:

A great query letter:

  1. Contains a great selling pitch that leaves the agent or publisher so moved by the story that they can’t wait to see your full manuscript.
  2. Convinces an editor or agent that they are the right publisher or agent for this book.
  3. Compares 1-3 books published by this publisher or represented by this agent.
  4. Explains why you are the best person to write this story and gives your credentials.
  5. Thanks the editor or agent for considering your work.
  6. Asks the question: “May I send you my manuscript?”
  7. Tells when you expect to hear from them.
  8. Gives name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number, email, websites, and blogs,
  9. Includes a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) when the guidelines ask for one.
  10. Follows the guidelines of the editor or agent.

Here’s my article: “Components of a Good Query Letter.” You might enjoy it: https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/components-of-a-good-query-letter/

Thank you for sharing your life with me. Please leave a comment. Click comment below and scroll down to the bottom of the page.


Never Give Up
Live with Unwavering Faith
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2011-2016 Joan Y. Edwards


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

The number of subscribers grew from 157 in 2013 to over 360 Valued Subscribers in September 2016. Please sign up with an email subscription to receive entertaining, encouraging posts PLUS free gifts:

  1. Never Give Up image
  2. 20 Affirmations for Writers
  3. Ten Time Savers for Writers and Illustrators



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