You’ve written a splendid book with a surety that it will hit the shelves soon but you really have no idea how to attract the agents and publishers. There are many good writers that have extraordinary writing skills yet they fail to hit the market only because of their inability to impress the publishers. This article will identify ways a writer can win the appreciation of a publisher and inspire them to accept their project. Let us discuss these mistakes that should be avoided in order to make queries the gateway to agents and publishers reading more of your material.
1. Failure to thoroughly edit the manuscript: Many writers are with the perception that their story is flawless, as they have invested so much time in writing it. As a result they ignore proofreading the manuscript and without making any changes submit it. When a publisher starts reading the material, the abundance of grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and improper sentence structures leaves him annoyed and his interest eventually evaporates. The story then stays untouched at some far corner of his Book-shelf for months or ends up in garbage eventually. This gives them a clear idea of writers’ amateur behavior and they ignore their scripts in future as well.
2. Harassing the reader: By this I mean, you have to stop using an aggressive form of language. Seriously, excessive use of bold plus capital letters and exclamation marks give an impression of the writer shouting at the reader. In order to be acceptable, you have to be respectful above everything else. A thank you at the end of the letter also leaves a very good impression on the reader. Also many writers upon rejection slip into a highly abnormal state of mind and threaten the reader by telling them how foolish they have been by rejecting their piece of work. One should really avoid this kind of behavior as chances always persist, if not this the publisher might find some other work interesting in future.
3. Neglecting the guidelines: If you are contacting some reputable publisher you should act formal too. Following their guidelines and instructions is the biggest key to get a place on their approval list. These guidelines are usually listed on the website of the publishing agency but in a haste to submit work writers disregard these guidelines. In return their manuscript goes into the bin right away. For example, if the publisher wants you to include first two paragraphs in body of email avoid pasting the whole chapter there. Not only does it exhibit non-professional behavior but wastes efforts too.
4. Forgetting to research the publishers’ background: Well, this is one big mistake writers make – even the very good ones. When they fail to research their target agent or publisher they end up giving them manuscript on science fiction whereas publisher specializes in romance and drama. Your work is dismissed immediately. Pitching them something that doesn’t interest them the slightest bit will in the end waste time and efforts both. Also writers should try addressing them with their name in email. Using words like “dear agent” or “dear publisher” will definitely turn them off, as they will know how poor your research has been.
5. Failing to Keep the suspense: Many writers give away too much of their plot and as a result the publisher has no interest left in reading the rest of the story. Writers should understand the query is not by any means a summary or synopsis. You need to ignite their interest instead of making it disappear altogether. Just highlight the basics of your story and leave the trail off. And of course if you have strictly avoided all the above-mentioned points you will definitely receive a green signal from the publishers end.
Wrapping it up, these mistakes are very common and also committed by very professional writers at times. Even one of them could get you a rejection and hence it is mandatory that a writer keep strict check of all his actions when querying an agent or publisher. Trust me, if your work is good you will definitely make it to the audience but if your attitude is right you will definitely make it to the agencies and in order to achieve the former goal you have to complete the later process!