One Of The Biggest Mistakes Authors Make

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.

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2 thoughts on “One Of The Biggest Mistakes Authors Make

  1. You are absolutely correct about this. I made that newbie mistake when my first manuscript was done. I know grammar and spelling were fine as I’m a teacher and I went over it with a fine tooth comb, more times than I can count. But I didn’t have one person read over the entire thing from front to back. There were a few places where my hero could have been stronger and some clarifying that needed to be done regarding stuff the heroine had done.

    My other very big mistake was subbing to the wrong subgenre. Because my story had dangerous characters in it, I thought it was suspense. ,The two places I subbed to both commented that the suspense wasn’t strong enough. When I really thought about it, I realized I don’t even like reading thrillers or mysteries. So writing stronger suspense wasn’t something I wanted to get myself pegged into. I love the romance and the story between the main characters. As much as the rejections hurt, they also made me realize I write contemporary romance. Yes, I add some suspense elements but the books certainly aren’t suspense. Finding the right niche for your work is also essential.

    That said, finding the right critique partner is equally as important. You need to find someone who will support what you want to do in your story and ask the right questions to help you make it better. Having someone just tell you to change this or do that, isn’t going to make you a better writer. And if there’s too much of it, it doesn’t become entirely your story anymore.

    Thanks for these wonderful tips. I know they’ll be helpful to many new authors.

    • Kari,
      You are absolutly right there are many areas of a story that crit partners can help with and they are all very important. I also like your comments about genre. It is very important to sub your MS to the correct genre or else it may not even get read. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

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