Tuesday, 15 May 2007

‘I thought I’d send you the whole manuscript anyway’

Another tip for sending in a submission to a publisher – send in what they ask for. Everyone has their own guidelines: find out what they are and follow them. Personally, I like a decent synopsis and a couple of sample chapters. That way, I can see if the book has legs, and whether the writer can actually write. If it’s good, I’ll ask for more. But not before. Writers who ignore such requests and send in the whole thing anyway I don’t tend to look favourably on. It’s a waste of the editor’s time. And more importantly, it’s a waste of trees.

Conversely, I’m not a huge fan of those writers who fire out emails with half a dozen book ideas, each a couple of lines long, and then expect a full length critique on the merits of each one. Not so much full of ideas as full of it. I say: come back when you’ve done some work.

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