Following with the weekly schedule I have tried to develop that makes today time to talk about submission tips. When it comes to traditional publishing which is something many of us who write have dreamt about since we were very young. I was looking around for possible topics to cover but I kept coming back to something even more important, editing.
No matter if you choose to submit to agents, contact publishers directly or even if self publishing is more your speed one of the most important things that must be done is editing. You don't want to send a letter, or worse a manuscript, full of typos and half completed thoughts. Without the editing process there are sure to be concerns that have not been addressed and can cause you to appear amateur and unprofessional.
Recently during a conversation with a great friend and in fact my editor it was discussed that it is a good idea to have a third party go through the manuscript and not just have the author proofread their own work. It is understandable that there are those that would shy away from someone else reading through their work. Writers can be extremely protective of what they create so handing it over proves to be difficult. they must trust the person to read their book with a purely open mind for the sake of finding changes that need to be made as well as holes in the plot that may have been overlooked while writing.
If the author does go ahead with an editor then comes the next frustrating and often painful task, accepting the honest evaluation as well as take the constructive criticism to alter the parts that are weak. Our stories are our babies and it can be hurtful to hear things that others may not have liked or that we made mistakes but just as we expect out editors to have an open mind to receive our stories we must maintain that objectivity in order to improve what we hope to publish.
The conversation I had with my editor was about why having the third party is helpful because when we write and then read through our own work we have a tendency to see past things that need our attention. We know what we intended to say so our minds will naturally fill in missing parts. Also typos can be difficult when going through our own work because if we misspelled something chances are unless it is extremely obvious at which point the spell check should catch it, we will just miss it every time we check through the story.
Long story short, before you submit of consider hitting publish on any work the first step is to make sure you have a god editor on hand to go through and work with you to help make it market ready.