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!