Monday, June 8, 2009

Tips on Avoiding Rejection

I was shuffling through my old notes and found a list of tips on "avoiding rejection." It's from the 2004 issue of CHILDREN'S WRITER'S & ILLUSTRATOR'S MARKET. I thought I'd share it with all of you.

The biggest submission turnoffs (according to the two agents who were interviewed for this column):

  • The letter is addressed, "Dear Sir," especially if there isn't any men in the company. Also, addressing by first name when you do not know him or her.
  • Including handwritten notes.
  • Explanations that friends, family, and students recommend or loved the writing.
  • Comparing your book to other will-recognized authors. "It's the next Harry Potter!"
  • Telling them that it will be a big seller and that they will be sorry if they turn it down.
  • Not following submission guidelines.
  • Mispelling a name.
  • Including any non-manuscript materials in the submission (dolls, food, etc.).
  • An abundance of grammatical errors.
  • Manuscripts with illustrations done by the author's young children.
  • Single-spaced manuscripts.
If any of you have anything you'd like to add to this list, please don't hesitate to leave a comment. Let's keep our editors and agents HAPPY!

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