One of the biggest and most common mistakes new authors make is rushing their submissions. For this reason, I have decided to focus today’s post on the importance of making sure your manuscript is ready before submitting it.
Authors often spend months or even years writing their stories and once they type the final line they want to submit their work. This is completely understandable; they have lived a breathed their story and they know it’s finished; now they want to see the fruits of their labor recognized. Sadly authors nearly guarantee that their work will be rejected when they rush to submit. This is because publishing houses want polished manuscripts. Things like bad grammar, wrong spellings, typo’s, and repetition will get a manuscript rejected. There is no such thing as a small issue and this is why authors need to take the time necessary to clean and polish their completed works.
One step that all authors should take is to enlist beta readers for their projects. I have seen and know authors who do this by simply putting a post on FaceBook asking if anyone is willing to read their work. It is best if the post lists what exactly the author is looking for. For example: when would the author like the critiqued manuscript returned by? What types of issues does the author want the reader to actively look for? And how would the author like comments and changes to be left (track changes)? It is also important to list the genre and word count for potential beta readers.
Critique groups are another great tool for new and seasoned authors alike. Critique groups allow others to read your work and supply you with their thoughts and guidance among other things. I have heard positive things about critiquecircle.com, but there are many options including FaceBook groups for authors to join. Every author must choose what options are right for themselves and their stories.
The important thing is not how you go about enlisting helpers to beta read or critique your manuscript, but that you do enlist them. In the end, you will have greatly improved your odds of getting an acceptance letter.