Patricia wrote, I'd like to hear about common mistakes writers make that cause editors to cringe so that I can avoid them from the beginning.
Okay, here's a list of what to do and not to do when working with editors.
1. Be professional. No cute photos, perfumed paper or presents with your query or manuscript. White or ivory paper is perfect. Good writing will get you noticed without all the fluff.
2. Research the publishing house before you submit your idea. Read their magazine, know the audience and style. Know what type of books they publish. Make sure your idea fits.
3. Never send a manuscript in without reading the writer's guidelines. Most publishers want a query first. Most guidelines are found online. You will be noticed if you send in your article instead of a query. Not in a positive way.
4. No phone calls. Respect an editor's time. Be patient. Wait until after the response time is over to ask about your submission.
5. When mailing a manuscript, always include as SASE(self-addressed stamped envelope). If not, you may never hear back from them. And be sure you have the right amount of postage.
6. Meet your deadline. No excuses. Submit on time. Obviously on rare occasions, circumstances prevent this from happening. But if you know you have a wedding to attend on the due date, submit early.
7. Work with the editor as your partner. They are there to help you. So when they recommend changes, do them. Don't argue. Be willing to rework your piece.
8. Send in a clean copy. Editors expect writers to self edit. Always submit your best work. Have at least one person read what you've written. Read it out loud.
9. Write to the word count or below. If you get an assignment to write 800 words, write 800 words or less. Never more. There's a reason for the word count. They have page layouts that require a certain number of words. If you are over, they will have to edit out the extra words or you will have to.
There's my two cents for this Tuesday. Maybe Beth can weigh in and add a few more tips.
Hope this helps, Patricia.
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