Line of Fire, An Autumn Rain Novel
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After finishing your novel
By Rachel Ann Nunes
Please don't beleaguer published writers by asking them how and where to
submit a manuscript. There are books and books about the subject! Asking
only shows that you haven't done your homework and you want someone to do
it for you. If you've read everything and need a little clarification, any
author would be glad to help you. But likely you will have all your questions
answeredand many more you never thought ofif you just pick up
a book at the library.
General guidelines for submissions.
The work of writing.
The myths of writing.
General guidelines for
Double-spaced with one-inch margins. Don't bind the manuscript except
with a rubber band or with a paperclip for sample chapters.
Don't use fancy font. Use Times New Roman or a similar font.
Single space after periods unless using Courier. (WP will automatically
correct this. I know many of you grew up typing two spaces after periods,
but that was in the days of Courier font. Several editors have told me that
double space is distracting to them. In the editing process, they are changed
to one space.)
Name, title, and page number on every page.
Use the copyright symbol, but don't worry about filing for copyright.
Your publisher will do this for you before the book is published. If publishers
stole manuscripts they wouldn't be in business very long.
Use a query letter stating briefly what your book or article is about
and your qualifications for writing it, if any.
Never send query or manuscript blindlyfind an editor's name. You
may call the publisher to request a name.
Always enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) for return
Don't do anything overly cutsie in your letter. (Example: an outline from
the viewpoint from the book's character.)
Research where to send your work. See who is publishing what you write
and what they want you to send. Don't just send to everyone. That is a waste
of the publisher's time and yours. They won't look favorably upon you for it.
Research what they want you to send them, be it sample chapters, a query
99.9% of writers have a file full of rejections.
If you don't send anything out, you will never publish.
Rewrite if no one accepts after a year or so of trying.
Always keep something in the mail. That way you always have hope.
Consider rejection a part of your educationactually cheaper than
college! (But keep taking those classes if you have not yet graduated!)
If an editor ever writes something encouraging on your rejection, be excited!
Submit something else right away!
The work of writing:
Appearances - you will have to do a lot of these to promote your work.
These include booksignings.
Speaking - you will be asked often to speak about your novel subject or
writing process. Speaking is a great way to spread word of your work.
Taxes and expenses - keeping track of expenses, mileage, and income is
a must. Not fun!
Above all, keep writing! A lot of people would like to have written, but
not to actually sit down and get it on the page. It's a lot of work to be
a writer. But it's worth every effort!
The myths of writing:
Money you're rich if you are published. Fact: most writers make
an modest wage after several years of steadily publishing. You must continue
to write to spark new sales. Writers never get into writing for the money,
but for the love of the work.
That you now KNOW IT ALL since you're published. Fact: many writers are
completely stunned and amazed after their first few books are accepted. It
takes a long while to feel secure in your career. You must keep learning.
Writers write once a month when the muse strikes and the rest of the time
sits on the couch watching soaps and eating bonbons. Fact: Ha! Remember that
writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.