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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Shannon is at TLA today (visit booth 2531 if you are too!) so I'm popping in from the PILE of red folders and last-minute rush editing on my desk to give you this week's Words of Wisdom, which is . . .

DON'T SEND ANY SUBMISSIONS TO ANY PUBLISHER WITHOUT LOOKING FOR, AND FOLLOWING, SUBMISSION GUIDELINES.

(Ours are here, with more info from me here.)

And bonus tip: DO YOUR RESEARCH. When I get a submission pitching a nonfiction book, or a book for adults, I roll my eyes and ignore it--we don't publish those books here, and those authors are clearly not trying. (Though nonfiction writers for kids should follow the nonfiction guidelines on that link above to reach our nonfiction editors.)

However, when I get a good submission, addressed to Samantha, or a submission for a book exactly like one we've already published, or a query for an idea that seems cool, but hasn't hit its target market at all (like a picture book for teenagers), it especially bugs me. Those people clearly didn't do their research, and it's frustrating.

Writing, my friends, is a business like any other. You wouldn't assume you could set up shop as a dentist without going to medical school, right? And you'd never hire a contractor who showed you photographs of the lovely roof he'd built in the basement. Do your research, take your time, find the right publisher, and work hard at revisions (there's another post right there). You'll find your queries reaching far more appreciative eyes if you do.

Questions? Let me know!

4 comments:

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Aww, Beth I just had a great idea to submit to you...It's about a series based on Amish builders with superpowers....I thought you might be interested in something with the supernatural powers and an edgy environmental theme. :( I thought it would really spice up your list. :)

Beth Brezenoff, Managing Editor said...

Sharon, I AM interested in about half of that! I'll leave it up to you to guess which half. ;)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Beth--I love chatting with you. :) If it's the enviromental theme, I've got an pb ms done....if it's the Amish builders with superpowers my daughter is working on a Twilight parody using them and wizards as the main characters. :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

P.S. I wasn't pitching, I was just having fun with your comment. :)