Writing…How NOT to do it.

Published 19/04/2012 by Lily Crussell

Don’t forget about FAQ Friday, I will answer all your questions, no matter how weird or wonderful (unless they’re likely to offend, keep the audience in mind peeps)

I though today I would give you my top tips on how to ensure you NEVER get published! Some of these I’ve mentioned before, some are obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people forget!

The Enquiry;

When you’ve written the novel, it’s edited and looking beautiful, you’re going to want to see it as a book right? And maybe make a little money (little being the key word) the best way to ensure it NEVER sees the light of day is to follow these simple rules below. For those of you who don’t know the term, an enquiry is what you send agents or publishers (If you don’t want an agent) to see if they would be interested in the book.

-Ensure you don’t read the agent/publishers website. This is key to NOT getting published. You need to ensure you check their individual rules for submission. Some will just want a cover letter and synopsis. Some will want three chapters, five chapters, 100 pages etc. Some might tell you to ONLY apply by email, so you’re wasting your precious cash on paper, ink and stamps if this is the case.

-Don’t address them personally. Each agency or publisher will have people for specific sections. Don’t just send a general letter, it won’t impress anyone. If you take the time to look up the right person and address it to them, it’s more likely to be read and not get lost somewhere in the office. It also makes a better impression.

-Be rude. If you want to get your book published, it’s a good idea to be professional and polite. Manners cost nothing, and the agent/publisher is more likely to give it the time it needs if you have been polite and followed their rules.

-Don’t include return postage. Ensure you enclose a self addressed stamped envelope. You won’t ever get a response if you don’t.

-Hassle them daily about their response. There is nothing more annoying for someone with too much work and too little time, than to have someone checking up on them constantly. If you haven’t heard back from them in six months, send a polite email or letter enquiring if they had indeed received your enquiry. I am still getting things back that I sent off over a year ago. The waiting time is LOOOOOONG!

-Don’t include relevant experience. If you worked as a journalist, tell them! But ensure you state why it relates to the book you have written. For example, if you were a teacher of teenagers and wrote young adult fiction, you are more likely to know the audience you are writing for. It works in your favour. Obviously don’t include any hobbies or info that have no relevance. They don’t care what your dog’s name is.

-Include bribes. Don’t ever include anything in the envelope other than the enquiry letter, the sample chapters, the synopsis and the return envelope, unless they ask for it. You may find it cute to put things like sequins or confetti in the envelope. They won’t.

-Don’t double space your chapters. This is important. 90+% of agents/publishers want it double spaced on white a4 paper, font size 12, Times New Roman. Some may differ, but it is unlikely. Stray from this and you’re just going to annoy them. No coloured paper, no single spacing, no complex fonts like Script. Imagine having to read hundreds of these things every day. Make their lives easier.

If you have any questions, message me or reply to this post and I’ll answer them in FAQ Friday.

Love and Hugs



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